Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beautifully Bald

Stock Photography: Bald woman with dangling earrings close up rear…
photo credit
Recently a friend mentioned that she's been writing down her experiences living through breast cancer and a double mastectomy  She told me about several of her cancer Firsts. Like the first moment her husband told her it was malignant, the first time she pulled a clump of hair from her head, and the first time she removed her bandages after surgery and saw what her body looked like without breasts. I can't help but gently push her in the direction of pen and paper. Maybe cancer stories are commonplace, but that doesn't lessen the transforming effect it has on a human life. Tell your story, I urged her. Make it yours. Make a record of the thing that changed your life so completely yet taught you to know you are still you, even without your hair or your breasts. 

In the novel Anna Karenina Tolstoy wrote, "All happy families are alike; unhappy families are unhappy in its own way." I believe the same could be said for heartache. The uphill struggle will appear different for each one of us.

Last week I received a voice message from one of my relatives: Hey. I wanted to let you know that I guess we're not having a baby this year after all. I'm in the hospital. Call me. She was sixteen weeks alongAs I talked to her over the next couple of days she shared with me the details of the terrible thing that was happening to her. And then she said to me, But you know, even amid the trauma there have been some beautiful moments. I rested my forehead against my kitchen counter when she said that. I thought it an incredibly brave, honest thing to say.

It's one of those things we all have to do, pick up the pieces and find a way to make a different picture. With or without our hair. With or without the baby we were hoping for. With or without all the things we think we need in order to be happy. But this week these strong women showed me how the disappointment, the emptiness, even the baldest parts of life can sometimes be the thing that shows us what beautiful really looks like.

2 comments:

  1. beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful. A great start to my day. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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