Cancer-go-away hair.

I meant to tell you about this woman I met last week but I got caught up in life and I also think I just needed to process the “meeting.”

So, last week I went to my favorite “quiet” place (Target) to pick up a few things.  As usual, I really didn’t want to talk with anyone other than listen to the chatter in my brain.  I had no kids and no time constraints.  I needed to pick up a prescription and as I pushed my cart over there I saw a woman in line waiting to walk up to the counter.  Shoot.  I didn’t want to wait but I knew if I didn’t, it could be worse later.  But at the same time, I really wanted to get closer to her to check out her red hair.

She was a beautiful young woman who looked like she should have blond hair.  But instead her hair was a bright, bright red … and short.   As I got in line, she turned to me and smiled.  I just could not take my eyes off her hair and I (not being able to restrain myself) said, “Wow, you’ve got cool red hair.”   “Thanks,”  she said, “It was a gift from my best friend.”   She went on to explain that she had just finished her last chemo session when her friend surprised her with this red wig.  It represented the bright red sun which comes up to start a beautiful new summer morning.  And, now that she was recently done with treatments, every morning was a new and bright day of strength and beauty.  She said that the doctors were not sure how successful the treatments would be, given the aggressiveness of the cancer, but she felt it was good luck to wear it.

Just at that moment a cute blond girl (maybe 5) ran up to us and hugged the woman’s legs (behind her, a nanny brought up the rear).    She introduced me to her daughter who gently shook my hand.  I bent down and told her that I loved her mom’s hair.  She smiled and said, “That’s the cancer-go-away hair.  My mom won’t die if she wears that hair!”  At once I felt sick to my stomach and also immediately full of love for this cute little girl.  I wanted to cry.

Just then I heard the word, “Next,” and the woman went up to get her prescription.  The little girl waved and smiled at me as they left, holding her mom’s hand as they walked away.

I don’t know what to say about this.  It’s the tragedy of life.  It’s the privilege of being here for as long as we get.  It’s the joy and wonder of a 5-year-old girl who believes in miracles.  It’s a reminder to never, ever take even one day for granted.

Have a wonderful day.  XO

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