This morning while enjoying my first mug of coffee and perusing facebook, I came across the following: “J– F– and 3 other friends are attending Support the fight against Cancer … Wear The Badge With Pride.” (name blanked for privacy) and shown were several pictures of people with pink ribbon tattoos. The ‘badge’ referred to is a pink ribbon that attached itself to one’s profile. But this, especially the pictures of the tattoos, got my mind to ticking over.
While I have a pink ribbon on my USS Enterprise (the aircraft carrier) baseball cap, I and thousands like me wear a different badge every day. Much like the lad in Stephen Crane’s book ‘Red Badge of Courage’ we wear our badges of courage, our battle ribbons and they, like tattoos are indelible. Many of those who bear these badges have won their physical battle against cancer yet their mental one goes on. Adjusting to the strange looks they get from people who see them as ‘mutants’ I suppose because their ‘badges’ are visible or as ‘aliens’ because some part of anatomy is missing, for example, a woman’s breasts.
Personally, it took me almost 8 years to accept my “battle scars”. I was able to accept them, through the diligence and love of Angelika and learning to face my fears head-on.
I wear MY ‘badges’ every day. I have no choice, but now I wear them with honour and pride.