The Most Telling Tie
November 21, 2015
P. R. Randy Cooney
Publisher, Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business
This past October, the Arizona School of Real & Business decided to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by asking students and staff to wear something pink on the last two Fridays of the month. As I was deciding what to wear, I discovered that I didn’t own anything in the color pink. The Thursday evening before our pink dress day, I found myself in Macy’s at Scottsdale Fashion Mall looking for something pink that I could wear to show my support for this important cause; on the tie rack there were a variety of pink ties. To comply with our school’s pink attire request, I simply selected the tie on sale, not realizing at the moment that the design of the tie would later be perfect!
The tie itself had no real meaning at the time of purchase; however, as I left the store I had an idea and decided to approach a stranger named Theresa. I said, “You don’t know me, nor I you, but do you by chance know anyone who has survived or died from breast cancer?” Theresa replied, “absolutely.” I asked Theresa if she would be willing to honor that person by putting her name on my tie with the year she either recovered or passed away from breast cancer. With emotion filling her eyes, she gladly wrote the names of two survivors on my tie.
After approaching a multitude of strangers for about 90 minutes, the new pink tie I purchased (photo below) has been adorned with many names and a few tears. In blue ink, are the women who survived and in black ink are those who were taken from their loved ones due to breast cancer. At the end of the evening, I too had a name to add to the tie, Betty Cooney, the mom of eight – my mother. Although she was not a victim of breast cancer, she was taken from my family at age 64 with lung cancer – it still seemed fitting to add mom’s name to the tie.
The MOST TELLING PART of this spontaneous effort is to bring real life to this symbolic pink tie. Everyone I approached knew someone who had been a victim of breast cancer AND each of them had an emotional moment when printing the victim’s name on the tie.
Over the years, I have accumulated well over 250 ties – you will likely see me in my holiday ties this month. However, none of them are as meaningful and now memorable as this one – A MOST TELLLING TIE.
As we go about our busy schedules during this holiday time of giving, I hope all of us can pause to remember not only our loved ones, but those around us who may have a tragedy or challenging circumstance happening in their lives. This month the Arizona School of Real Estate & Business will be supporting a family in need through St. Vincent de Paul.
Have a very healthy and joyous holiday season.