The Warrior and the Red Dress


Someone I love passed away this week.

She was kind, and well-spoken, and angelically beautiful.

She loved the outdoors, and dogs, and gardening, and writing about her passions.

She was young, and compassionate, and filled with a zest for life.

She inspired me to start my own online business, and to take a marketing class that changed my life.

One problem?

I never knew her.

Not personally.

Her name is Jessica Ainscough.  She lived in Australia with her pug and her frenchie and her adorable fiancé Tallon.  Jessica was a writer.  And a fabulous one, at that.  She wrote a blog from a website appropriately named The Wellness Warrior, which I had been following for a very long time.

Jess had cancer, and it was diagnosed in her left arm when she was only 23.  And for 7 years she did what she felt was best for her own wellness, and encouraged others to do the same.  She cleaned up her lifestyle and her diet, and flooded her beautiful self with organic foods and green juices with something called Gerson therapy.  She chose to thwart western medicine for most of her journey with cancer.  She was surrounded by beautiful people at all times who supported her, and nourished her, but still on February 26th, she passed away.

The hatred and trollery in the blogosphere has already begun, ranting seething statements about how she could have saved herself with western medicine or amputation.  Aside from this, Jess’ mum died just over a year ago, also from cancer.  She had also chosen a natural path for healing.

The trolls are attacking the Ainscoughs like demons…hurling insults and accusations.

This is inconceivable to me.  A person would never walk up to Tallon or Jess’ father on the street, and spit in their eye.  Yet they do it metaphorically on the internet with a putrid self-righteousness and the protection of a computer screen.

Yes, Jess is gone.  She could have amputated her entire left arm, including the shoulder, and perhaps lived another few years.  Instead, she chose life.  And she truly LIVED for those 7 years. She traveled the world, and went skydiving, and spent time with her dogs.  She dug in the dirt and grew her own vegetables.  She spoke in front of large crowds, even though it made her wildly nervous.  She did the things that made her feel alive.  She put life in her years, instead of forcing years onto her life.

And for that she is my hero.

This week there has been a ridiculous image of a dress circling the internet.  I have read so many comments where people are just flat out arguing about the color of this dress.  Is it gold and white?  Or is it blue and black?

So I thought I would ask my son Zion what color the dress seems to be, in his eyes.

So I said “Hey buddy, what color is this?”

He looked at it for a split second, and said “red,” before running off into the next room.

Errrrrrr? (in Scooby-doo voice)


Yes… red.

Zion is 10.  His autism causes him to see the world in his very own way.  Red is his favorite color.  So to be honest with you, he most likely heard me say color and immediately said “red,”  due simply to association.

My point is this.

As humans, we love to be right.  We express our opinion, hoping to win the debate.

But there is no debate when it comes to personal opinion or personal choice.  That debate is already won because that decision is your own.

Everyone has a different perspective…and it is a right and good thing to just let people live their lives, and choose their own path.

It is futile to argue about the color of that dress.

It doesn’t matter if that dress is white.

Or blue.

Or fuchsia with bright neon green polka dots.

If that’s what you see, more power to ya.

It is also futile to attack Jess Ainscough and her family over personal choice.  She did what made her feel good, and alive, and to attack her for that only days after her death is not cruel, it is exceedingly arrogant.

Because your way is not the only way.

And neither is mine.

We could all be a little more tolerant of the viewpoints of others.

Our own choices and opinions don’t make any of us right or wrong.

They just make us different.

And that’s okay.



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