(Emerged from the back of my fridge this morning. Was steak at some point.)
On this, the last day of October, I rejoice.
No, I’m not a huge fan of Halloween. My son, who has dressed up as an eagle and a mummy and a ghost and a race car in years past, now has feet that are larger than his father’s. His Halloween costume this year will be his fine personality and hopefully the manners I’ve instilled in him, as he walks up to someone’s door dressed in a creepy mask and asks for candy. He’s in high school. The ship has so sailed on trick or treating.
I rejoice on this day because October is over. For me, October is a remembrance of how life can skid sideways. How things that seem so in order and in hand, are actually far out of order. Fourteen years ago I was told I had cancer. The boy with the man feet had just recently celebrated his first birthday. The next day after my diagnosis, we walked around a pumpkin patch near the coast in a mental fog, picking out big orange orbs to decorate our home, because that is what you do to celebrate Halloween.
It’s just my luck that everyone celebrates breast cancer in October. We are made aware. We are awash in pink. Corporations make millions off painting their products this color, sometimes the same products that are filled with carcinogens that give us cancer in the first place. This bothers me. Saddens me. I wish that companies would simply remove the chemicals and talk about that instead. Then donate some money to local causes that actually help women with the day-to-day issues that arise when fighting the disease.
The light starts to change in October. Darkness is coming. There is a chill in the air, even in California.
And yet. Tomorrow will be November, the month of Thanksgiving. If October houses my personal “Oh! No!” moment, then November is the month of my redemption. It was the month I took charge those 14 years ago. My surgery was on November 4th. You better believe I was thankful.
Still am. So very much.
In fact this year, during this October, I worked hard to write a new story for myself. Thousand Words Press, the company I formed to publish my children’s book Nowhere Hair, has merged with the copywriting work I have done since 1990. While I will never stop helping women with the hard task of explaining their cancer to their kids through this wonderful book, it’s time for me to remember that my ongoing inspiration comes when I create. With words. With images.
Thousand Words Press’s new logo, I am now realizing, is a big orange orb.
How perfectly fitting. A circle of life.