Pink About It

I LOVE the color pink. Some might even say, it’s my signature color. But I don’t actively support Pinktober. Now, before you decide to lynch me, allow me to explain..

I lost my mother to Breast Cancer, she was diagnosed January 2001 and died the following January. I was one of her primary caretakers and advocate with doctors and surgeons. I asked the questions and challenged their ‘opinions’. HER aunt (my great-aunt) was diagnosed and I’ve had my own scare. (Benign tumor removed in 1998) So, I am up close and personal with this bitch of a cancer.

I am a cheerleader for those who have fought valiantly, and will wave their flag any/every day. While I believe there needs to be an awareness raised and a cure found, I don’t believe all pink ribbons are created equal. So many manufacturers rely on the fact that we, as consumers, will buy pink ribbon EVERYTHING! ANY company can put a pink ribbon on items and never donate a dime. Many companies will make a one time donation per campaign, no matter how much revenue that pink ribbon item generates. Meanwhile, a disclaimer is placed on an item…“A portion of the proceeds from this item will be donated to help fight breast cancer.” It is not clear what breast cancer organizations would benefit, how much money they would receive, and what programs or work would be funded by the donation. I know of one particular organization who refused a donation from a BIG fundraiser, simply because it came from a “motorcycle club”. Heaven forbid they be associated with such generous riff-raff.

I have been a hairstylist for nearly 30 years, I have seen the changes with in our industry with pollutants and VOC restrictions. But I’m still boggled to see pink cans of hairspray in October. A product that has known toxins and chemicals being pimped out for a well-meaning consumer!

And let’s talk ta-ta’s… The definition of a woman does not lie in her boobs! Cheers to the brave who have posted, “why keep them, they tried to kill me!” And going braless for a day in the name of awareness is a huge slap in the face to women who have undergone mastectomies. Free-boobing and nipple popping  reminds survivors that they have lost something. It sends the message that they aren’t as “sexy” as all the luscious Instagram photos. Not to mention the pain that may be associated with a survivor going braless. I’d much rather see a bad-ass survivor celebrating her scars with tattoos and a fist raised in victory!

You really want to make a difference? Be a voice for someone who is fighting. Drive a patient to their chemo appointment and sit with them while the poison is pumped through their body. Volunteer to babysit for a patient so they can rest. Prepare a meal, better yet, organize a meal train for a week of meals for a patient. Pray diligently for a family struggling through the financial trainwreck the ‘cure’ has cost them. Host a fundraiser where the funds go directly to the family for expenses.

As I said before, I will be your biggest fan and cheerleader for your personal victory against Breast Cancer. I will always love pink and celebrate the fighters! I will continue to pray for a quick end to this bitch of a cancer; of ALL cancers!!



Pardon Me

Please pardon my normal pleasantries and nice-nice for just a few moments, so that I may rant about… public bathrooms!
As if I’m not already aware of my fat arse, who in the fook designs public bathrooms?!? It has to be a man! My apologies boys, but it’s stupid!! 

How does a big girl walk in a stall, turn around and close the door?!? You don’t!! You sidesaddle the MotherTrucking toilet and swing the door shut with your purse. And pray that you don’t lose a lipgloss from your purse into the toilet. 

And if that isn’t bad enough…

Some asshat decides to put all the “receptacles” on one side, nearest to… you guessed it, my fat arse!! Now come on, I know you men rarely sit down in one of those things, but seriously? How am I expected to maneuver my left arm… at all?!?? 

And yes, I actually took a picture!! Standing IN the doorway, with the door open!!! Good googley-moogley even a twiglet wouldn’t be able to move in there! 

And don’t even get me started about the auto-on sinks that never work and you look like some idiot Kung-fu reject trying to find the happy place for the sensor. 

And on that note, I shall bid you adieu for thus endeth my rant about the loo! 

Throwing Rocks

Thinking of the well known Bible chronicle of the woman caught in adultery, I’m reminded of her accuser’s ‘rocks’. (John 8:1-11 NIV) The big shots brought the woman to the forefront and pointed out her sin, rocks ready to throw. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman, he called out the rock-holders.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

I love the word picture painted here! Jesus wrote in the sand first. His words aren’t recorded or revealed. But, I’d like to believe he wrote the words, forgiven, beloved, favored, cherished. Then he asked the rock-wielding meanies to examine their own hearts and drop their rocks.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

So the older dudes were the first to go. Does older equal wiser? Or is it more years of sin? Had they known her in “that” way? Only heaven knows. But what is known, is that there was NO ONE left to throw rocks, even though the law-of-the-land demanded it.

The image painted for me is that of Jesus, with his arm around the shoulders of the trembling woman. Surrounded by a circle of rocks on the ground. The accusers with the rocks have gone, just their rocks remain. In my painting, within this circle of rocks, Jesus’ words written in the sand remain… forgiven, beloved, favored, cherished. Jesus wrote the words before challenging the accusers. In my eyes, He meant the words for them as well.




Blurry Vision

I’ve been home from a mission trip to Peru for about 30+ hours. Re-entry is usually one of the most difficult elements for me. Returning to a ‘normal life’ after the experiences of a foreign life is hard, sometimes to the point of being painful.

Our flight(s) from Chicago lands in Lima. But that’s only part of the journey! We board a bus for 8 hours of winding, twisting, ups and downs thru the Andes to deliver us in Huancayo. This is a difficult bus ride even from the comfy seats of our section. I know myself well enough to know that I will need something stronger than Dramamine for this ride. I acquire the prescription patch for motion sickness and it has served me well! Not to the point of being able to eat anything during the bus ride, but I’m at least not doing the opposite! (sorry for the visual)

One of the side effects listed is ‘blurry vision’. I didn’t really notice it at first, but when I tried to read something after our arrival it was very blurry. For those of you that wear glasses, especially bi-focals will understand. I could not move that piece of paper into a happy place of clear vision. Extend my arm, nope…up close, nope. I could make out the letters enough to guesstimate what I was reading.

I removed the patch upon arrival in Huancayo, but for days my vision didn’t clear. Frustrating is an understatement! Talking with several of my team mates, I found that many of them were having trouble with blurry vision as well. But no one else had worn the ‘patch’.

Naturally, what goes up must come down. Our return trip to Lima was by bus, which means another patch. I kept the patch on for the 2 flights from Lima to Chicago. (For the obvious reasons) But even today, 30+ hours later, my vision is still blurry. I will share more about our day-to-day activities in another post, but this singular malady has stuck with me the entire journey and home again.

It struck me this morning, while my vision may be blurry, my sight has become crystal clear. No event that I had seen over the course of my days in Peru can be unseen.

  • To see a street child, dirty – nose running- and unattended, with nothing of a worldly possession other than the coloring page they just finished at your little table – singing praises to God….your sight becomes very clear about our selfish ways.
  • To know that the cookies and juice box we gave them, may be the only thing they ate that day.
  • To have nearly 100 kiddos line up to hug you and kiss you with no motives or other expectations other than the fact that you came (back) to see them.

Clear, so very clear. Re-entry is hard. Coming back to a life when my ‘normal’ would be to complain about a broken washing machine, or my pool is green. Even as I bring in my suitcase from the garage, and start to sort the filthy clothes of Peru, I can’t help but be sad to wash away the dust of the brickyard that permeated every pore and space of our being and belongings. To wash away the places where the little grubby hands wrapped around us and hugged so close.

Yes, my vision is still blurry this morning. Possibly the remnants of the side effects of my medicine patch, more than likely its from the tears that still fall. But I know,  my sight is clear.

The sound of the kiddos, praising God, still lingers in my ears. “Abre mis ojos oh cristo!” {Open the eyes of my heart Lord} The trouble with asking God to open your eyes of your heart….is that He will do it and it will change you for ever and always.