PINK / by Carolyn Higgins


Pink is pretty little girls all sugar and spice and everything nice, or pink is big fluffy cotton candy. It has its own clothing line. It is ribbons all tied up in hair, and pink is also the best flavor Bubble Yum (next to grape, obviously).

Pink sings. Pink dances through tutus and is everything dainty. Pink is 4:00 am and I can't sleep again so I might as well write another rambling soliloquy. Pink is the serenity in a sunset.

Pink is red and white mixed together, it can become a thousand different shades. Pink is everywhere and means many things to so many different people of every color.

Pink is also the badge worn by millions of supporters, by survivors. It is the ocean of friends holding each other up and helping each other along as they crash onto muddy shores together. It has become the symbol for many; women, men, families.  

But I’m sorry to say I must admit, pink has never been one of my favorite colors. Not even close. It has always clashed with my wild, crazy auburn hair. I've really only started wearing pink in the last few years. And well, maybe it might have something to do with the fact that I was such a tomboy growing up.

Hmm... maybe.

But in fact, I think I like pink less now than I ever have. Of course I've always been somewhat of a non-conformist, marching to the beat of a different drum, dancing to the tune of a different— nah, we all know I don't dance.

Anyway, you get the idea; I just don't like to follow the crowd.

I'm sorry to say that, as beautiful a color it really is—all cheerful and rosy—pink will be at the lower end of my favorites list. Not for the most obvious reasons I've stated above. But because beneath the surface, behind all the, "Thanks, I'm doing good"s, pink is admitting I'm scared to death. Pink was the color I use to feel before that ten-second phone call.

Okay, so it may have been longer than ten seconds. But ten seconds was all I heard.

Therefore, at this time, this complicated and pretty little color of fluff must remain hovering at the lower end of my list. Because to me,  at this time, the color pink  means acceptance. So, maybe pink's denial—I'm not exactly sure yet.

It means accepting that I’m really 50-ish and not 40 like I kind of feel like most of the time... some of the time. Pink, to my generation, means we're now on the "parents list" for weddings. It represents trying to stay awake at night until our children arrive home safely. It means becoming the parent to our parents. And finally yes; Pink is having breast cancer.

I know for most in the cancer community it means strength and survival. It represents resilience and comradery.  It means I am one of eight women who will deal with this battle; who will wash the mud from their bodies; and who will beat it!

So for this New Year, I’ve decided I must resolve my pessimistic personality of paragraphs past. I will try to embrace and approach "the pink" optimistically. Already, I have a new outlook on life, a new attitude towards others, and towards myself. Already, I have a new and constant stream of gratitude, for everyone and everything that has come my way. I am slowly renewing my faith in God and in things that are good in this world. Most "pinkishly", I’ve gained a completely renewed perspective on how big my husband's heart truly is. Then, of course, there's that eye opening, "I'm not the only one in the room" kind of new appreciation for family and friends. But that's another whole different rambling in itself.

And finally...

Yes, I will have new hair.

Who knows—maybe it will grow back pink! I'm sure I'll be able find a shade I can become comfortable with.




Carolyn Clancy Higgins is an artist living in South Buffalo, NY. She's married, a mother of 3 teenagers, and was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in September, 2014. She's beginning chemotherapy treatments this month.