Monday, September 12, 2016

A Good Hair Day

A futuristic account of a very special women's upcoming day...

As the sharp scissors snip-snipped and the beautiful gray-white tendrils gently fell to the ground, so did her tears. Some of them flowed as happy ones, thinking how he’d always loved her long hair, something she knew that was important to him, so it became so to her, one of the many things he found beautiful about her, something he’d remembered about her, even in his last days. So she’d kept the longer length the past few years, even though she preferred the ease that a shorter style afforded her.

Most of the quiet weeping at the start of her hair appointment was from the sadness. Sadness that he was gone.

Her hair dresser paused and asked if she was okay. “Oh yes,” she said. “You’re doing great,” she reassured her, so the cutting continued.

She allowed herself to drift back. It had been a long goodbye--something that she was mostly thankful for because it allowed many of those who loved him to see him and be with him at least one more time. And it gave her many opportunities to be with him too, to be his wife--despite the fact that so much of the last months were spent simply providing for his simple, everyday needs (the ones most take for granted). Even though in the end it became almost unbearable at times, watching him cough so hard, sometimes gasp for air; the harder part was his confusion coupled with the sadness and longing and questions for it to be over.

She knew she’d done her best to care for him. She was almost sure of it. She’d fed him carefully and gave his many meds, held his thin hands, snuggled in his single hospital bed set up in their living room, trying to reassure him when he needed it, gotten up multiple times so many nights to be sure his coughing fits ended up in comfort and sleep--it was a very long list of caregiving--of which she didn't complain.

More soft gray fell and along with it suddenly tears turning to joy and pride. The kids were so proud of her, amazed by their mom and her efforts to help their dad. She smiled picturing them when the nurse was sitting there with the four of them. She was so glad there was a witness who observed their confession, their profession, that she was the strongest woman they knew, and that she had done well. She really needed that, and they knew it. She also pictured the funeral day when her son further acknowledged that she had been amazing this past year especially; the congregation even clapped.

But then the sadness briefly returned. The tears that told of the moments long gone of a special motorcycle trip, memorable times with their best friends to Atlantic City, championship bowling nights, classic card games with another favorite couple, refereeing one-handed wiffleball, visits to see their awesome grandkids, and so many other special times. They had done these things together, the two of them. A couple.

"I'm done," the stylist announced, startling her to the present. She looked in the mirror, staring at the newly-shorn lady.

“It’s short, isn’t it?” she gasped, but not to her hairdresser.

“It’s perfect,” she heard. And she smiled with dried tears, looking at the image of a beautiful woman still.

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