OH, HAIR WE GO!
Just over a month ago, I had to do the unthinkable… cancel my appointment for a haircut. When I called in, I explained why I could not make it and how very sorry I was to cancel. The young man who took my call listened and replied with conviction, “Next time you contact us less than twenty-four hours before your appointment, we’ll have to charge you sixty-five dollars.” I replied, “Dude, this is the first time in my thirty-nine years of life that I’ve ever cancelled my hair appointment.” Clearly, hair is important.
We’ll miss that important PTA meeting or doctor’s appointment, but our hair appointment, oh, no, that would never happen. Growing up, my sister and I would go with my Mom’s Mom, Maw, to the “beauty shop.” We’d hang out until her hair had been washed, cut and set. My Dad’s Mom, Mamaw, had long beautiful grey hair she whisked up in a bun every single day. I cannot tell you how many times my sister and I sat with her as her long locks air dried before being properly put in place.
My Mom, sister and I were lucky in love with the angel of a human being, Laura Lochhead, that cut and colored our hair. She herself was a beautiful woman with an anointing when it came to hair. A once Art Director for Neiman Marcus, she’d cut and color your hair to perfection. And, while her skills as a stylist made you feel runway ready, her heart and ability to make you feel like the most beautiful person in the world truly superceded her professional skills. There was never even one time that I walked out of her salon feeling less than the Hair Queen of Everything.
My point here is that hair is important. Long hair, short hair, no hair, messy hair… the bottom line is we LOVE our hair. It’s a part of us. It doesn’t define who we are but it often paints the picture.
In December of 2014, my gorgeous, long haired neighbor and beloved friend, Barbie Wetterauer, was diagnosed with breast cancer. And, less than three chemo treatments in, she started losing her hair. With only two chemo treatments left in Barbie’s round of six, another beloved friend and little sister by choice was diagnosed with breast cancer. Molly Curtis Case’s hair wasn’t as long as Barbie’s hair was, but, friends, her gorgeous, thick, wavy, sandy blonde locks were fit for a Pantene commercial. Half the way in to her six chemotherapy treatments, she began to lose her hair.
And, while both of them were so strong and nonchalant about their hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, on the inside, I was not so strong. It hurt me. It gutted me. Their hair was gone. But, I knew it was going to come back. Hair is something I just didn’t want my gorgeous friends to be without.
Barbie successfully underwent six rounds of chemo and is recovering from a bi-lateral mastectomy. And, Molly was able to hit the gong last week at Baylor Hospital as she had completed her sixth and final round of chemo. They are both complete and total rock stars. I am in awe of them. When I grow up, I want to be like them- strong and courageous and downright fabulous.
Barbie’s hair is growing back like crazy and I know that Molly’s will follow. I wanted to do something, just a tiny little something as a small sacrifice for all that they’ve had to sacrifice unwillingly. Yesterday, I chopped my long locks off in their honor and in honor of every human being who has gone through cancer and had to deal with loss of any kind as it relates to this disease. I didn’t really want to cut my hair. I was happy with it long. I loved being able to braid it ten different ways, but, in my heart, I needed and wanted to make a small sacrifice as a larger gesture of love on my two friends behalves.
I believe it was Mother Theresa who said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” What a blessing it is to do something, you know, some small something but with great big love behind it. Some kiddo will get some rockin’ hair. Barbie, Molly and I will all grow our locks out together. And, in light of a disconcerting set of circumstances, together we’ve done something good. We were able to take something significant and see it’s insignificance. Hair, after all, is important, but it’s not life or death. In the end, what’s important is how we use what we’ve been given for the benefit of others. Spreading a little love is good for the soul. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big gesture, rather, it can be a small one with great love.
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