Saturday, October 5, 2013


Living Legendary and now, it's her legacy.

Jen Smith died last Saturday.

One week ago.  That same day, more than 100 others died of breast cancer, in this country alone.  Globally, the number is staggering.

She will be missed by so many of us, lives she touched only through a computer screen.  She will be missed by her family and mostly she will be missed by Corbin.  Another little one who will only have memories of his mommy's comforting arms.

Each death cuts like a knife, drawing more blood, shattering lives, breaking hearts.

Jen Vennes died in July.  I was at her memorial service last week.  It was heart wrenching to watch her husband read the eulogy which is now posted on her blog:  KeepTheCalm ...

Please take a moment over this weekend to read about the two Jen's.

Let's remember WHY we advocate and the result we seek to achieve.  It's about life.  It's about making sure we find ways to stop these senseless deaths.  Yes.  Senseless.

We've been at this for a long time.  My plea to all: that which divides us is far less important than reaching the outcomes we all seek.  Between now and Monday, on a global scale using the statistics I could locate from WHO, over 2500 deaths will have occurred.  From Breast Cancer ALONE.  Cancer as a disease, regardless of which part of the body was attacked? In 48 hours, over 41,000 people around the world are now gone.

If those numbers aren't a call to action, remember just one life.  The life of someone who meant something to you personally.  Let that be your call to action, your need to understand why it's so important to fund the right research because that's the way this finally ends.

Not with pink footballs which will be all over the NFL on Sunday.  We got the sneak preview on Thursday night.

The shade of pink is blinding.

And it's making us blind to the reality we must face if we are to be effective advocates.

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  1. dear Anne Marie,

    thank you for remembering Jen Smith and Jen Vennes, two vibrant, beautiful young women who tried so hard to live, and both whom were mothers who longed to live to see their little boys, Corbin and Milo, grow and thrive. so heart wrenching that they both lived with such pain, as they were taken from their loved ones and us, far too soon.

    I have been thinking about pink. it's shade this year, is blinding, indeed. but pink is only a color, it is not a living nor breathing thing. it is an entity, one that has taken on a life of it's own, morphing into gigantic power for money-producing business and industry to become an emblem that has fooled a lot of good people. perhaps thinking of other entities that take on lives of their own will help us gain some insight on just how to release ourselves from the whole month of October as nauseating, full of dread, and making us bang our heads up against hard walls.

    an entity, like pink, which is only a color does have power. it has that power because people found a way to breathe life into it and make it do what it was inclined to do - attract people to a cause, a movement. there are lots of entities, but not a single one has any power to take on a life of it's own without human input - our explicit permission and consent for them to be of any influence. they sit inert until we give the signal for them to rise up and spread, to either answer a clarion call for good. or to be greed's evil twin.

    entities such as love, compassion, forgiveness, inclusion, human rights, determination, commitment, empowerment, desire, recognition, transparency - as opposed to exclusion, indifference, racism, sexism, ageism, bullying, manipulation and hatred all share in the fact that they are inert and not living nor breathing things without our input.

    I think it behoove us all to consider our words, as well as our thoughts and goals for the long haul. it is, after all, the truth that pink is only a color that took on a life of it's own, and whose direction is not only outworn, but is getting us nowhere, unless it is towards divisiveness which is hard and time consuming to untangle. how to tame the considering that we do have the power to breathe life into more noble and sustained entities that can help accomplish the main goal - the truth about cancer, the truth of living with cancer, and the truth of those who struggle to live with METS but may never get to survive, even at this point when they have been crying out to be heard, and pleading in their stories to pleasehelp them.

    perhaps averting our eyes to that blinding shade of pink, and looking to October as the lovely symbol of autumnal change, seeing the other more brilliant colors of leaves falling from the sky in a beautiful ballet as they waft to earth, the object of poets, and writers, and song-smiths through the ages, to rest our weary eyes and minds, will give us respite from pink, and provide some inspiration, and much needed perspective. what entities do we feel called to help breathe life into to begin to effect change in how we think, what words matter most, and what will best carry messages of truth

    please know, Anne Marie, how much I appreciate your messages of personal stories, the ones within your own family, and those of our wonderful BC community. and the messages as a skilled advocate who encourages us to earnestly consider that any dialogue of change must be one that respects the fact that words matter, people matter...and that pink is only a color.

    much love and light to all of us,

    Karen, TC

  2. Our hearts will be with their families :(

  3. AM: I had heard about Jen Smith last week, but I did not know about Jen Vennes.
    Once again I sit here stunned. This is so very sad. So very, very sad.
    Thank you for posting this.

  4. Every time we lose another one to cancer, it breaks my heart all over again. So sad.


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