Full Definition of HONOR
I don’t want to discount the most beautiful gesture of being honored. Every October my heart is brimming over with love and appreciation, and I never know how to express it. Most years I am too embarrassed to express my thanks, some years I was too sick, and that one year I was too much of a train wreck. This year the push for a change in Pinking seems to be over shadowing the beauty that is in honoring the forever fighters (metsters) and survivors.
Pinking isn’t always about the money and the donations, and it can be “The thought that matters”.
But that’s not all it is. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of the high school cheerleading squad in Texas that wore pink bows in their hair in my name, even though only one of the girls knew me. A volley ball team in Rhode Island wore pink socks to honor me, although none of them had met me. My friend wore a pink bracelet at work as a card dealer at a casino every October for me, and my sisters wore matching heart charm bracelets. Two years ago a 14 year old boy from my church in Las Vegas chose to buy pink socks instead of the yellow ones for no other reason besides “it’s for Mrs. Bivens.”
So if it’s not about the money being donated, how does it help? My story is being told. The volley ball coach had worked with my husband and told them all about my family. My sisters and friends would tell my story to every person who asked about the bracelet. I know each one had a different take, for mine is the story of hope, of perseverance, and of God’s grace. I also know that every morning when they put it on they would pray for me. That is humbling.
Whenever I go to the Pink events that are honoring the survivors, that is exactly how I feel. I am honored that anyone is thinking of me, wishing me well, and so very honored to be prayed for. Professional sports teams get a lot of criticism for wearing Pink and having Pink games, but do we really know who they are thinking of when they are putting on their Pink garb? Is it their mother, sister or aunt that they are praying for? This year one of my daughter’s friends on the high school football team wrote “Mama Bivens” on his pink wrist tape, and I know it’s to support her as much as me. This touches me so much.
When the martial arts studio I attend sold pink belts, the response was huge. Unfortunately, almost all the kids have people in their life affected by this disease, but this is a way that they are able to honor them by wearing a pink belt to class and demonstrations. There are also the relatives and friends that they are celebrating as survivors, as well they should! Keep on celebrating them, and keep sharing their story!
All of our loved ones want to do something. It is a frustrating disease and so hard to feel like there is nothing really to be done to help. Yes, there is monetary donations, but we all long to make a more personal connection. It’s no surprise that my son’s middle school has an overwhelming student participation in the October Pink Parade every year.
It might not be popular to say right now, but I say go ahead and Pink. Trust me- it feels good to know someone is thinking of you. It gives me encouragement, strength and makes me feel loved.
And I humbly, and thankfully accept your honor.