In my practice I am always reminded that “medicine” comes in many forms, and healing the heart and spirit can heal the body. Perhaps one of the more well known examples of this is the truth captured in the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” A tool that has become one my healing essentials over the years is the little miracle of the Little Pink Pig.
The little pink pig came to me from a friend many years ago, and I have been grateful since.
A month before her 18th birthday my daughter turned my world upside down when she decided it was time for her to leave home. Friends she wanted to room with moved up their plans by several months, and she could not resist the excitement of striking out on her own as soon as possible.
I was blindsided by her surprise decision, and I was devastated by the prospect of “losing” her. I raised all my children to be independent and self sufficient, so I was not going to fight this choice if it was what she really wanted; but like many moms, I was not really prepared for the reality of that day when your child decides it’s time to leave home.
Life has its way of sending in the angels.
After we moved my daughter out and into her big new adventure, I was sitting alone in her empty room crying my eyes out. A good friend, and confidant, stopped in to see how I was doing. We talked and I cried, and cried some more, grateful to have her with me.
“I’ll be right back”, she said after awhile. When she returned she handed me the cutest little stuffed pink pig. “I thought you might need this”, she said with a grin. The little pink pig was simply irresistible.
“My grandmother gave me this.”, she said. When she was young, she explained, she went through some rough emotional years. Her greatest supporter was her grandmother who was always there to provide her comfort. Her wonderful grandmother, knowing that she would not always be available, gave her this little pink pig to cheer her when she was gone. My wonderful friend loaned me her pink pig, assuring me it would make me feel better immediately. I accepted, gratefully, with a giggle through the tears and cried on the pig’s shoulder that night.
My friend was right, the little pink pig worked wonders.
As with all difficult hurts, time smooths the painful edge. I eventually returned the little pink pig to where it belonged. Yet I dearly missed my little pink pig and went out and bought two, one for my daughter and one for myself.
Sometime later something happened that made me realize the real secret of the power of the little pink pig. One day, a regular patient came in, deeply depressed, feeling she had no value or purpose on the planet. This was not something I could help her within the time of a regular visit. When I was done with my schedule, I took her to meet Spencer, my horse. We spent several hours talking about her issue, grooming the horse and I finally put her in the saddle. This was a new experience for her and she immediately fell in love with it. I then took her by the house and scooped up my little pink pig and told her the story. I sent her home with my pink pig and an inkling of a new possibility.
Months later she was moving away from the area and came to return my little pink pig. Knowing that she was about to move, had no family support and I would not be there for her, I gave her the little pink pig. As the years go by, she checks in with me and assures me that the little pink pig is still needed in her life.
Something similar happened with my daughter and her little pink pig. She passed her little pink pig on to her niece in a difficult time of need.
What is the healing magic of the little pink pig? Simple. It is in the sharing. Sharing the little pink pig at a moment of desperate need is an act of love that, in that moment, helps heal. The little pink pig is a symbol and reminder of that act of love, that healing.
Laughter is wonderful medicine, but love is truly the best medicine.
Love has saved more lives and healed more people than any other medicine. Yet, it only works when shared. With love we are all doctors, all healers. The little pink pig is my little ambassador of love.
Pass on the Little Pink Pig.