When I was a kid, I would write a family newsletter, called The Brennan Picayune. I remember coming up with the name, because that was the name of the newspaper in Sim City, the computer game I played non-stop. Mostly satirical, inspired by the small tastes of the free copies of the Onion that I would grab anytime we went into Madison. My pages were filled with explosions of various personality traits of my many brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents. All crafted on my Apple IIGS, with enough fake news to make MSNBC/Fox News, blush. One article that has stood the test of time, was a semi-satirical piece, outing our Aunts and Mothers as the snoops that they were, a radical band of emotional terrorists, The Aunt Colony. The nickname stuck, and the younger cousins were maybe given a little more personal/emotional space, by my in-depth coverage of the issue. I’d like to think so, at least.
I got older, and did less, but other cousins took up the cause, and teased me, as I had teased them. It was a fun way to keep up with each other, long before even MySpace existed, and improved my writing, even though it never felt like work or practice. I should really get my kids hooked on the idea.
Several times in my Adulthood, I have received FOLDERS full of these newsletters. Each time, I’ll be visiting my Gram, my Mom’s Mom, and she’ll say, “Oh I found something for you!” and out these will come. It’s also happened that my Mom will come over, and she’ll say that she found something, during one of my Grams many recent Room changes, in the bottom of a drawer, and it will be a folder of these stories. She kept them. Saved them. Knew that they were something I should see again. Ah, Gram.
She was hit with Breast Cancer. And kicked it’s ass. It had to have been a scary moment in our family’s history, but her bravery created a wall, where us grandchildren never really felt the gravity of the situation. She was and continues to be a beacon for our family, bringing us together, moving forward, and keeping on, when all seems to be lost. We haven’t been able to see her much in quite a while, but we talk about her and her stories almost every day.
For many families, it isn’t as happy of an ending. And when you are fortunate, it seems like a wonderful opportunity to give back and try to help those who are less so. So, for the month of October, John will be wearing our Pink Fight! T-shirt, to raise money and awareness for the continuing scourge, that is Breast Cancer. John’s wife has hinted that she is going to try and find different Pink shirts, to change things up, but John thinks that is bullshit and won’t wear them.
You, yes, You, can also wear a Pink Fight! T-shirt, if you buy one in our online store. If you are local with a pick up or delivery, the shirts are a 23 dollar donation, straight to the American Cancer Society. Quantities are very limited, but every single cent will go toward our American Cancer Society fundraiser. I’m not sure what a “Real Man” is, but I’m wearing pink.
We would like to thank James Brennan, and the team at the Waukesha West Print Shop, for making these shirts happen on short notice, and at an amazing price, where JJC can make this happen.