… or if you like to watch John Cleese dancing in the street for no apparent reason.
I am a reformed mohawk fashionista. I have also recovered from my teen ails of putting hydrogen peroxide in my hair. And I haven’t permed my hair since my early 20’s. But of all the hairstyles I’ve had over the years, the one I loved the most was being bald.
Four years ago, there was a fundraising challenge where I worked to support one of our manager’s teams in the Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer, in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. If a certain amount of money was raised, one of our bartenders who had been bald by choice since his teens was going to grow his hair in for a few months. Being the competitive type I am and not wanting him to get all of the attention and glory, I said if we doubled that goal I would shave my head. We doubled it. I shaved my head.
Going bald was one of the best life experiences I have had. To support an honourable cause was a privilege. It happened just a few months after my mother died and while cancer was not her actual cause of death, she did have three different forms of it when she passed so it was done in memory of her. I had the opportunity to reinforce a lesson I had tried to teach my three kids: beauty is on the inside. They all initially almost feared me doing but that transformed into a pride in their mama I don’t know I ever could have otherwise offered them. And heck, it was a helluva lot of fun. I even had my hairdresser give me a mohawk through the shaving just to be able to say I had donned one in my lifetime, if only for a few minutes.
And here I sit a few years later pondering the irony of that experience against the circumstances of my life today.
Five weeks ago, my doctor had to cut off some of my hair to do surgery to begin to remove a skin cancer tumour from the outside of my head. It remains a privilege to support an honourable cause – the fight against cancer – and I now occasionally buy sunscreen to give to complete strangers in hopes they never have to hear their doctors utter the same words mine did to me. Memories of my mom’s cancer battles return to me and I know she is sending me the same strength and courage she had. I get to revisit yet another lesson I have tried to teach my children: when life gives you lemons, become a juggler. And although they naturally all had some fear around my cancer diagnosis, my kids are now the ones who remind me to put my sunscreen on. And yep, I’m even finding the [and the funny!] in the dysfunctions of my health. Who knew buying hats could offer so much entertainment?
Like today’s post? Okay, sure, go ahead and hit the like button, I do enjoy seeing those little stars appear in my notifications tab. But that’s just for my benefit. Spread the love to others too, others who may need it more than I. Buy a bottle of sunscreen and give it to somebody, anybody. Perhaps a homeless person who is outside and exposed to the sun most of their days. Donate your money and/or your time to your local cancer society. Or go the extra mile if you have really long hair and shave your head to send your lovely locks to the organizations who make wigs for cancer patients. The experience could prove to be one of the best in your life too. And gosh darn, don’t forget to get the mohawk while you’re doing it!
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,
the figure that she carries or the way she combs her hair.”
~ Audrey Hepburn ~
In response to today’s Daily Prompt – These Horns Were Made For Tooting:
Today, share something you love about yourself — don’t be shy, be confident! — but that few other people know about you or get to see very often.