I’d like to say that it was like a scene out of G.I. Jane, where there was a great song playing in the background while my locks fell to the ground. I’d like to say I became tougher and after all of the hair was shaved from my head I reached down, grabbed some dirt, and rubbed it under my eyes in preparation for going to war. Wow! That would have been awesome! It wasn’t exactly like that.
It was time to take the next step and shave my head.
“Hey, can you shave my head today?” I asked my brother. “Sure,” he responded quietly. I knew I wanted someone special to shave my head and someone who had experience with clippers. The last thing I wanted was for something to go wrong or for it to last longer than it needed to. My hair had been falling out everywhere in clumps. I started wearing a hat because it held my hair in place for a bit until I took it off and then there would be hair everywhere. I remember getting out of a friend’s car and noticing all of the hair that I had left behind. It was time to take the next step and shave my head.
“Bzzzzzzzz,” the electric clippers got closer to my head as I moved away to safety. My brother turned them off. “Do you want me to do it or…” he asked. “Okay, just do it really slowly,” I responded. He turned the clippers on again and this time I didn’t move. In the mirror I could see hair, lots of hair, falling to the ground. The lovely part was I couldn’t see my scalp from the angle I had, so it wasn’t so bad at first.
“Alright, you guys have to… make me laugh,”
In the room with me were my brother and a friend from film school, who was there to film everything. I wanted to appear strong for the camera so I smiled (with lipstick on for the occasion, I was hoping it would offset the bald). My goal was to give hope to others by making a documentary about survival.
“Bzzzzzzz,” more hair fell to the ground and my smile started to quiver. I was moments away from sobbing. “Alright, you guys have to… make me laugh,” I said through tears. You can actually hear the guy behind the camera sigh, “hmmmmm.” No one said anything, because let’s face it… what in the world can you say? Then my brother asked, “Do you want me to leave your sideburns?” “Yeah, I want to get rid…” I started to reply in a high pitched voice through tears and laughter. He then asked, “You want to get rid of them or leave them?” “Yeah! No! Get rid of them! Who leaves their sideburns,” I asked him still laughing and wiping away my tears. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I told you I’d make you laugh.”
It wasn’t a scene out of G.I. Jane, but it was just as impactful. It shows the power of love and how one person’s words and actions can lift someone up even during the hardest of times.