This time of year is always filled with Pumpkin Spice everything, many hues of orange and warm tones. Everyone is swaddled up in their favorite sweater and has a spirit of content; like they are finally settling in and everything is right. In the midst of the autumn glow of October, there are also pops of pink! That's right, as many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. A month that exists to help bring awareness to this rising issue, to build a fortified front and help support and encourage those affected by it.
It is a very touchy topic, but one that is close to my heart. Growing up in a small town in the South Western part of Virginia I was very close to my Nana. I used to cry when I would come home from school and she had left in my absence. She was my best friend. When I was very young, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for her first time. I remember after that always playing with her wigs and her prosthetic breasts as a kid. She always had such a light heart about it, and because of this I never knew its severity.
As I got older, I started to understand what this actually meant for her. It didn't make sense to me, if this was happening, how could she be so positive? So joyful, so unaffected? It was her strength. Her strength that far surpassed all the fears of the ultimates ringing through her head. Her strength to keep fighting after not only relapsing once, or twice, or three times, but relapsing five times. Coming back to fight this battle, time after time. Putting her gloves up, staying in the ring like a champion, five times. Through it all, she would cater to my tiny problems as if they held such magnitude. Through it all she would crack jokes and throw sassy comments right back at my teenage self with spitting fire. She showed up to every game, she gave and gave to those in need as if she was entirely filled, complete and lacking nothing.
Her spirit held such an unspoken, beautiful strength. Each October I plan to honor breast cancer awareness month for her, and all those like her. This year, I collaborated with Riley Youngstrom to create a product bundle that will donate to Breast Cancer Research to help continue the fight. After Riley created the beautiful artwork for this collaboration she shared with me why she picked what she did,
"A Gladiolus and an azalea, both symbolizing strength as a reminder that those with breast cancer have an unspoken beautiful strength about them. "
Nana, thank you for your strength. It will always be so beautiful to me.
Kara + Riley