I love the musical HAIR. When I was a teenager, it was one of my favorites. Good music, teenage rebellion, social justice and HAIR. (and I am an Aquarius)
From the time I was 13, until 23, I had hair down to my.... well, all the way down my back. (is there any gracious way to say "tush"?) It was long and thick and red and beautiful.
But thinning hair is genetic and I knew that my great Aunt Madeline (z"l) was right, that I needed to cut my hair if I didn't want it to thin away.
As long as I could remember, I was "the girl with the long, red, hair."
Cutting it would be like changing who I am. I couldn't do it.
Until I made Aliyah, and no one really knew me here anyway. So I cut it all off. BOOM. Just like that. I even forgot to save it. (you know, for some day when I might want to make a wig out of it... who knew?)
Since then, a few times a year, I cut my hair, reluctantly, ever aware that if I don't, I will lose it.
So, in the face of cancer and chemo, it was the thought of losing my hair that made me cry.
But then, I got lucky. The chemo I get doesn't usually make one's hair fall out.
So, when my hair was still there, after a month of chemo, it became a symbol of how "healthy" I looked. After all, I still had my hair. I was doing fine.
Then, a few weeks ago, I noticed quite a bit of hair in my comb. Maybe it was my imagination? Then, it happened again. Still, I could be over-reacting.
Then, one evening, my hair kept knotting, so I kept combing, and the hair kept coming out. It was like I stepped into a horror film. There was hair everywhere. I cried.
But, a week later, I could relate the story without crying.
I still have most of my hair. The loss is not yet noticable to anyone else.
Still, I'm scared of what's to come.
So, I asked my oncologist about it. And he couldn't tell me what to expect. Maybe that would be it. Maybe more would come out. Maybe now. Maybe later. Maybe never. No way to know.
It makes me cry.
"You are an interesting woman", says my doctor.
"How so?" I ask.
"You're like a 'bull' ...powerful, determined, stubborn, teaching swimming.... "
....and yet I cry, because I don't want to lose my hair.
I know it's a small price to pay. But I don't want to pay that price. I don't want to lose my hair.
I don't want to watch it fall out, bit by bit, over time.
I love my hair.
It's like the song goes:
Gimme a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer (hair)
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
Hair, hair, hair, hair
Grow it, show it
Long as I can grow it
My neshamah (spirit) will always have long, thick, red hair.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Watercolor Portraits: Man Reading
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