The Autumn Legacy of Pink Ribbons

October brings a beautiful change of color in the foliage. Indeed, the yellows and oranges almost make autumn’s cloudy days a bit brighter. But even with thoughts of cozy evenings and the coming holidays, not all change is welcome.

I remember watching some golden leaves float down from the tree outside my window when my mom called. She’d just returned from the doctor. Anyone who has taken a call like this knows—there’s a pause, a sigh, and then the words we’ve come to dread. My mom’s autumn months would be spent in the first stage of battling breast cancer.

October has become breast cancer awareness month. The pink ribbon reminders are everywhere. Even NFL penalty flags are pink to honor a fight that has nothing to do with football but affects everyone who watches those games. 

In fact, breast cancer has probably touched everyone’s life somehow—grandmothers, moms, aunts, sisters, daughters, and into our world of work and play—afflicting our co-workers and friends.

My daughter sweeping leaves off her Grandma's back porch

My mom holding her grandson 

Thankfully, it has become highly curable and with so many awareness campaigns, walk-a-thons, prevention and treatment strategies. More women are victors in this battle. My mom was not one of them, but it wasn’t a battle fought in vain. Part of her legacy is that her doctors learned more about treating breast cancer.

As the leaves fall and we prepare for the barrenness of winter, I’ll be remembering my mom, and others like her, who have left an emptiness where their vibrant life used to be.

Cancer has claimed far too many lives far too soon. Prayerfully, God will heal the wounded hearts left behind. I'll continue to pray He'll guide medical doctors treating our loved ones while also encouraging researchers seeking cancer's cure.

Until that cure is found may the pink ribbons remind us that we’re not fighting the cancer battle alone. And just as the colorful leaves remind us that the season has changed, let's remember one thing that never changes—God’s infinite love for each of us throughout every season of our lives.

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