Our kitchen back then, living in Salt Lake City in our first home, it had a swinging door to some stairs that went down to our back door, out to our back yard and the unattached garage. One night, after coming home and inside from the back, I'd gone ahead of her and up the stairs and through the swinging door, into the kitchen... I turned to look behind me and that door was swinging back and forth, and each time it swung, I caught a glimpse of my mum who was standing on the stairs with her back to me... one moment she had hair and the next swing of the door? - It was all gone, as she had removed her wig! It was the first time I saw her bald head - - I don't remember at all what I did next, if we talked about it, or if I burst into tears or not, or whatever... but I distinctly remember the feeling of sheer and total panic rising up inside me. For as long as I can remember, I had been told my mother was very sick, but it really gut-punched me in that moment that she really was, indeed, very sick - - sick enough that she could die, as I'd also been told this, but it'd never really sunk in until that very moment.
After she lost all her hair, even though she had already been deemed terminal upon diagnosis at age 17, found in the 3rd stage of cancer development, it was when she lost all her hair that people truly began to treat her as if she were sick and dying. In fact, one of the reasons my longtime and dearest childhood playmate and I had hit it off so well when we met in kindergarten [Anna Dilemna is her blog alias], is that she, unlike most kids, was completely and totally unfazed by my mother's lack of hair, because her mother, too, had lost hers during treatment of a benign tumor... so I never had to defend my mother with her, and she would happily come over to play, even though my mum had no hair.
Anyhow, a few years ago, in the same town where my own mother grew up, a younger cousin of mine who was in high school at the time, Whitney, she had a friend diagnosed with Hodgkin's, and as a amazing sign of support, when her friend lost all her hair due to cancer treatments, my lil' cousin cut off all her gorgeous long hair and donated it to Locks of Love (go check it out!)... and I thought, of all the people to do that, I should do that!
And so, a couple years ago, I told my honey-man,
"After we get married, I'm gunna do that!"
And so, I did! Some child out there somewhere is going to be wandering around wearing a wig made of my hair!
It's true, I could have had kept my hair in a short bob, as it was long enough after cutting off a foot-long ponytail of hair for donation, but I told my hairstylist (the same who styled my wedding updo) that she could do with me whatever she pleased, which made her so happy!