Friday, July 6, 2012

On Being "Bald"...

 This is day three of my new "do", the chemo cut I got on Tuesday in support of my dear sister, Kathy, who is the one receiving chemo in what she has dubbed "the greatest challenge of my life." It has taken a bit of getting used to, but now I only occasionally start upon seeing myself in a mirror or my reflection in a window. For the most part, I am truly enjoying the freedom of being basically without hair.

It's interesting how quickly I can get ready to leave for work in the morning- a shower and a towel rubbed over my head and I'm good to go (after donning clothing, of course). The only people to really stare have been a few children...looking back over their shoulders as they pass me by and receiving from me a big, warm smile. And the people at work have been great, including the residents. Yesterday, one of the women, a black woman who has been a long-time resident, with the diagnosis of schizephrenia and one of my absolute favorites, laughed with delight when she saw me, making me turn around so she could view me from every angle, and then announcing jubilantly, "Chaplain, I love it!"

Many of the younger women have come up to me, telling me how much they like my haircut, and several have remarked about what a nice head I have. (Never actually thought about that is what it is, but it's nice to be noticed.) And I am finding that, with nothing in the way to distract, what you see IS what you get- my facial expression, the look in my eyes, and of course, each and every wrinkle! But that's okay with me...I feel so very genuine, without any subterfuge at masks...just ME, with my glorious beauty as well as my flaws on exhibition.

It's a bit scary, you know, to be seen so clearly; no hiding place, nothing to distract from who and what I am. And I feel unburdened if I have not only shed my hair but many of my worries as well. Odd, isn't it, how getting down to the basics of life brings what is really important to the surface...things like continuing to surround my sister in prayer and love and light...things like maintaining contact with friends in so many places to let them know I care...things like touching base regularly with my scattered family from coast-to-coast...

So, my eyes are smile is, too...and the rest of my face fades backstage, playing only a supporting role to the more outstanding features in my facial drama. And here I am...for all the world to see...bald and beautiful and loving it! And loving you, every one. Love, Linda

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