Yesterday, I stopped in to see my friend, Marcia--and when I left, I returned home to this reflection in my bathroom mirror:
Three years and running in an exercise of patience and LOVE.
Three years ago I decided to grow my hair out for Locks of Love and the past few years (especially this past year) of living has really emphasized the importance of this great cause and organization.
Not only did I have a breast cancer scare last year (as many of you are already aware)- my SIL had a scare at nearly the exact same time. Then, only weeks later, we found out my husband's step sister was diagnosed with cancer. (Her mother had passed away from it many years back). Thanks to my DH's step sister's vigilance with early testing, she was diagnosed very early and opted for a double mastectomy. She is currently doing well; cancer free.
That being said, the utmost reason I decided to donate my hair is because of my courageous young cousin, Amanda (She is actually the daughter of my first cousin who passed away from cancer). Amanda has been fighting a rare form of bone cancer for several years now. I have written about Amanda here on my blog in the past, and you can read about her recent activities by clicking on her name in red above.
I thought I might cry when the hair was cut off.
Surprisingly, I didn't.
I didn't feel anxious.
I didn't feel a loss.
I just felt... joy.
Joy in knowing my hair was going to help some young woman/child struggling with a battle that's infinitely more scary and taxing than the ones I've been given. Joy in knowing that it might just put a smile or two on the face of a young girl battling the ravages of cancer by having a wig to wear to her Senior prom, to her Homecoming, or to just wear out on a date with a sweetie. Some young woman with a face as gorgeous as Amanda's. Some young woman with unending faith and outstanding courage and character.
Someone like this EXTRAordinary young woman:
Who has been such an inspiration to me and to so many others.
Who continues to fight.
Who continues to dare.
Who continues to dream.
Who continues to face the ravages of cancer; radiating an energy of positivity and the sincere spirit of one who loves her God, trusts her God and has a undending faith in her God. Her faith that can move mountains--and has moved people!
Please keep/put Amanda and her family in your prayers.
And...bringing it all back home...
...All things being said, it's really...
...just hair after all.
It will grow back.
I encourage each one of you who reads this to consider donating to Locks of Love. *
If growing your hair out is not possible (for whatever reason) you can help by purchasing an adorable Gund Bear (proceeds go to the charity) or by simply donating money.
*post editing: I just read at the LOL website that the donated locks not only go to children battling cancer but also a condition known as alopecia areata. My dear friend, Suzie (from my college tennis days) has suffered from this condition much of her life, losing at times, much of her hair and her eyebrows too. Alopecia areata isn't in and of itself life-threatening, but nonetheless it is very traumatic, emotional and devastating to the self image of individuals afflicted with the condition.
http://www.cheersforamanda.blogspot.com/ Here you can find a recent post with a You Tube Video of Amanda cheerleading and read more about her journey through life and her battle with cancer.