Yes, there you have it. I said it out loud. I hate October. I say it every year. And no, not just because everyone does nothing but talk about Pumpkin Spice in lattes, and cookies, and cakes and candles … For sure, there are definitely things that I like about October because who doesn’t love Fall, and the changing colors of the leaves? Halloween is a favorite and yes, it is in October so I cannot hate that too. And of course, it is R3’s birthday, and what is not to love about that?
I hate October, because of what it means to me. So what is it that I hate so much about October? I hate October because it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every breast cancer ribbon makes me angry. Sounds crazy, no?
It probably makes sense to a handful of you. That handful who lost their mothers, like I did, to breast cancer. I am reminded every day that I don’t have my mother with me, but in October it seems like the world is conspiring to remind me why.
All my favorite gossip magazines, a lot of Facebook feeds turning pink, it is everywhere. I feel like an open wound for a month. It seems silly to even say that I can’t bear to read People magazine, and watch another program about Sheryl Crow or Christina Applegate. I mean, I am so happy for them that they survived, but I survive the loss every day. Not only of my mom, but of one of the most amazing women I have ever met. Her name was Sara Jones. She was…it is enough that she was.
My mom was a diva, she loved fur and anything that sparkled. She was irrational, smart, and a warrior for the people that she loved. She was unforgiving and so welcoming to anyone in need. I used to say that she took in strays, people without a place to go, or who needed to get back on their feet. My whole life, she would take in those who needed her. I think she needed them too. Some of my best friends today were those strays. A skinny Indian kid who couldn’t go home to India on Thanksgiving, a woman who was in the midst of a divorce, my pseudo sister who is my superstar. I was her only child but she left me with this motley crew of a family that take care of me no matter what. She was beautiful, a pain in my ass and I wish that she had taken better care of herself. I wish she had been more proactive about her health. We lost her two days after her 50th birthday. She was too young.
As a result I have a love/hate relationship with my breasts. I love that they have nourished my three babies, but they bring me untold anxiety. I am gripped with a sudden panic almost every time I feel them, and as you know, nursing breasts are always changing. I have been in for ultrasound after ultrasound, MRI, and mammogram. I have tested negative for the BRAC-A gene. It doesn’t matter to my heart. The anxiety has gotten so bad that I avoid touching them. I know logically that that is the absolute wrong way to behave, but the fear is so real I can almost taste it. That isn’t even just in October, it’s every day.
F you October, I remember every day. Come on November. I like November better.
But for now, let me share this … me with my mom, Dorothy. With love.