I earned a pink ribbon when I was 14 years old, not because I had survived breast cancer: but because my aunt couldn’t wear it. I was my aunt’s baby plain and simple.
My Great Aunt Ollie hung my stars and moon. I was an auntie’s baby from my birth. It was my Aunt Ollie that cradled me after my entrance into the world, and stated that she loved me unconditionally. Despite the rumors that I wasn’t my father’s child and that I had no traces of being black like my father’s family, she loved me.
I had never head of a pink ribbon until the day my aunt asked me to wear one for her. I was eight years old when my aunt told me that she had cancer, and that she had beaten cancer. I didn’t exactly know cancer, but I was glad that my aunt had beaten it.
My aunt explained more to me as I got older about her cancer, she even informed me of its return when I was 12. I didn’t exactly know nor understand how and why it had come back. What I knew in my heart was cancer wasn’t good and that it could possibly take my beloved aunt away form me.
I spent all the time that I possibly could with my aunt. I called her all the time and went to her house on weekend that my mother wasn’t working. In those days going to my aunt’s house and being with my aunt was better than three trips to Disney Land.
I didn’t know it at the exact time that the last time I would see my aunt would be Thanksgiving 2003. I had promised to walk her out form my aunt “E’s” house and she held me to that promise. I walked her out and she hugged me for what seemed to be a forever. That was one of the last nights that she was healthy. The next month was spent with her being in and out of the hospital. She gave up her fight on January 14, 2004.
I was 13 when my aunt died, I was 13 when I realized just how dreadful cancer was. The October after my aunt died was the first time I had worn a ribbon as a tribute. All of the times before that I had worn it for my cancer survivor, and at 14 I had to wear it in memory of my most beloved aunt that cancer had taken from me.
Oddly enough pink is my favorite color. The last day of the month of October I wear a huge pink ribbon, in tribute to my aunt. Cancer may have been the cause of her death, but by no means is she now, nor ever was a victim to cancer. Her triumphant soul and spirit beat cancer. My aunt to me is a survivor that same triumphant soul that had defeated cancer before and held at for as long as she did still lives today.
My Hot Pink ribbon is in tribute to her triumphant soul, a soul that even cancer couldn’t hold.