Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hair or lack there of.

Close your eyes and think of someone close to you.  Your spouse, your best friend, your mom.  Do you see them as you last saw them in person?

For me, I always picture people in my head as they were during my fondest memories of them.  Sometimes it changes, but for a few, this image stays constant.  For instance, although my paternal grandmother is in her 80s, living in an assisted home and her mind is wavering, I will always picture her in her room at her home in Ft. Worth.  She would watch TV in bed late into the night, read and study her bible and often times have the classic music radio station on.  I can still picture the giant green plastic cup she drank water out of which was always next to her bed and the scattering of flat toothpicks on her night stand (she was also a big popcorn fan).

This is how I usually picture my family:

This is from the 1988 First Baptist Euless Church Directory.  Do churches still have directories or do people just get on Facebook?  I'm not sure.  I am pretty sure this directory is still by the home phone at my parent's house, too.  Growing up, my parents would reference it to remember who our friend's parents were, find a phone number or address and check what the Fellowship Hall was serving on Wednesdays for dinner.  Although I don't remember the exact details, I imagine that my dad is home from traveling & that is why my brother looks well behaved.

My mom has breast cancer and today, after 3 days of hair falling in clumps, we shaved her head.  My sisters & I had wanted to make a 'party' of it for tomorrow afternoon but it was coming out so fast we didn't think there'd be time. Although her official diagnosis was over a month ago and she just completed her second round of chemo, her appearance hasn't changed.

Until today.  

After giving Jon is bi-weekly buzz, my mom sat on her patio holding a trash bag and I shaved her head with the clippers.  First her right side.  Then the left.  A few pictures with the mohawk & then I shaved it all off.  She does look different.  Like maybe she has cancer.

To me, though, I will always see my mom with this hair - a look only achieved with hot rollers.  In that dress my dad brought back from a trip to Korea (which I later accidentally vacuumed over), the necklace, also from Korea.  The blush from Clinique.  And I know she was probably wearing Sung by Alfred Sung perfume.

The great thing about hair loss from chemo is that it grows back and hopefully the cancer doesn't.  So, Mom's Hair, we'll see you in a few months - she would prefer that you grow back in Auburn & not gray.  Straight & not curly.  Fast & not slow.

Peace out, cancer.  Don't let the door hit you on your way out!