I have many close, “best” friends and a twin sister that is better than a best friend. But I have only one “best, best friend.” You know the kind you’ve known since childhood that feels more like another family member; the kind that you could never have a quarrel with or imagine life without. This would be Gayle. We met as children and have been friends ever since. Our own children were teenagers before they realized we weren’t actually blood relatives. Our children refer to us as their “aunts” and to themselves as cousins (as if we didn’t have enough cousins!) It has been a wonderful arrangement and my children love their Aunt Gayle as much as anyone and she loves them.
So it was no surprise that Gayle was on an airplane as soon as possible to come spend the weekend with me and be there for my first chemotherapy treatment the following Monday.
But it was Saturday and I had big plans. The doctor said the chemotherapy I would be getting would ¬absolutely and certainly make me loose my hair. My hair is long, down my back and there is no way I am going through the trauma of just letting it fall out. Anyway, I found out that there are several organizations that can use my hair to make wigs for children with hair lose from cancer and other diseases, but they can’t use the hair if you have had any chemotherapy. So, I decided to be pro-active and cut my hair before it falls out and give it away so maybe it will bless someone else’s life.
I made an appointment with my darling young hair stylist, Patty, who was armed with her electric shaver when I and my entourage got to the salon. I brought quite a crowd with me; my husband, my son and daughter in law and their baby girl dressed in pink and wearing a pink babushka in honor of her grandmas soon to be bald head; my best friend Lyn, my daughter, and my best, best friend, Gayle.
Patty tied my hair into pony tails and snipped them off with scissors. They went in a collection basket for the charity. Then she took the electric razor to my head and trimmed my hair to a neat ½” in length all over. Mont and I and my daughter, Robin had already been on a shopping expedition to purchase me a nice real hair wig, so Patty gave it a good hair cut while it was on my bald head. I wore it when we were leaving. It was scratchy and hot and I wondered if I would really wear it much.
When I was getting ready for bed Monty petted me on the head and said “you’re beautiful bald.” I didn’t believe him for a second, but it was a kind thing to say. I kept wondering what child would get my hair and if it would make him or her feel normal and whole again. It felt great to give my hair up for someone else. I was actually happy when I fell asleep.
© 2007 Julia Andrus