The Pink Zinnia Truce

Do you have a stupid prejudice about something or someone?  No good reason comes to mind, but it’s there.  So starts my story today.

I went to buy marigolds to put with our tomato plants in our huge garden.  Marigolds are supposed to be so colorful that the bugs are to flock to them to snack on instead of     our veggies.  Master Gardener Uncle Bob McDonald swears by it, so it has to be true.   The flower aisle holds too much temptation for me to just get marigolds.  I was picking up  some petunias when the multi-colored zinnias caught my eye.  I love those reds, oranges, whites and yellows. An added bonus is they have a strong will to live, which is needed  when I am their gardening guardian.  I scoured every six-pack for one that did not contain a pink one.  You see, the color pink and I are not on speaking terms.  I have never really liked pink, but for the last few years, it makes me physically sick to my stomach.  For reals.

I know it seems silly, but I chose pink to be my target of anger over my mom’s breast cancer.  This cruel disease made its premiere entrance about this time 5 years ago.  Mom actually survived through that scary world better than I could have ever dreamed.  She got the ‘all clear’ signal after a year and a half.  Life started to get back to normal for her.  The hair was coming back in.  Her energy returned from its vacation.  No more regularly scheduled trips to Hutchinson.   Many years of grand kids’ events were on the horizon for her to enjoy.

Then, a spot showed up on the brain.  Little did we know what was in store for her.  During that time, anger started seeping in my being as I saw one of my best friends change before my eyes.  Roles reversed and I found myself being her parent. I had couldn’t really get mad at God, because Mom was so adamant that ‘while I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, I am so thankful for the lessons I am learning.  I wouldn’t change the cards that have been dealt to me.”

The doctors were all working so hard for her.  In fact, one hit it off with her extremely well.  He became  her security and doctor fantasy crush.  The nurses were the best.   Nothing but sincere appreciation could be felt and shown.

One day I was in Hobby Lobby and saw a Breast Cancer Awareness paper-cutter.  Really?  What was next?  The Breast Cancer Awareness cordless drill?  Sure enough!  There was one in a pink box with the pink ribbon festooned all over it!  Seriously?

Before I go farther, I am not slamming the raising of funds for research or any way to help obliterate this plight from the earth.  Quite the contrary.  We buy luminaries and give when we can.  Mom had first hand experience with the benefits of new drugs hitting the scene that made her life as rich as it could be for as long as possible.   It was fascinating to see how fast and furious the medical tides were changing from month to month.  I understand and respect the donations that come from a pink ribbon on Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Hamburger Helper.  I click on sites for free mammograms.  It just hit me as kind of trite when a rubber duckie was tattooed with a pink ribbon on its chest.  (I found out this response is quite normal.  Whew!)

Thus began my war with pink.   Since pink has no feelings, I didn’t have to worry about hurting them.  It was a safe battle with no string of casualties in which to be responsible.

Privately, I could put a moratorium on all things pink in my world, therefore I gained some warped control in at least one area of this journey.   Out went pink coffee cups and pink nail polish.  No sirree, you won’t catch me near anything pink.  I designated myself as the official flag bearer with the international symbol for ‘no’ when it comes to this color.

So, how has this been working for me?  Not at all.  Picking a fight with pink has made me notice her even more.   I feel it bubble up when I am casually thumbing through a catalog with an outfit I really like, but it only comes in salmon blush-which is pink!  See, she even resorts to going by aliases.  How low!

And, now, she  has infiltrated every single zinnia pack at Alco!  I almost walk away, but I can’t.  For quite some time God has been dealing with me gently about letting this go.  Pink is just ‘pink’.  The only one I am stirring up  is me!  Ephesians just bluntly says ” Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   Then James 1: 20 chimed in with “For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”   Since He created pink, it might behoove me to take heed.

Today God drew a line in the potting soil.  It took some doing, but I crossed it and picked up a zinnia pack with one strawberry milkshake colored bloom in it.   It’s a start.  I named her Pinky Tuscadero, and I think she might have actually smiled at me from her new terra-cotta frog planter home.

(A funny footnote: After planting Pinky, I came in to do my Jonah Bible study.  I opened my page of my homework and the scripture of the day was “Do you have any reason to be angry?’ Jonah 4:4.  I belly laughed!  No one knows how to set me up like He does.)

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