I started this post last night. I got the title down. I had a lot written in my head, but nothing actually typed on here. The next thing I know, I am waking up an hour later with the computer still sitting on my lap. I am just thankful I didn't post anything embarrassing. This time. :)
So my hair. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair most of my life. Pretty much all of it. And mostly on the hate part. We don't get along. I have very fine hair. Ponytails are out...the hair scrunchy slides right out. Forget barrettes or any cute accessory. And curls? Not a chance. My hair is straight (but not that pretty movie star kind of straight where it is perfectly brushed and stays that way). I used to torture myself with perms trying to get even a wave. I gave up. Even now, I will occasionally curl my hair in hopes that it looks somewhat decent for the day but usually by the time my toes step out my door, it is back to its scraggly straight self. Sigh. (And double sigh for my dear daughter who inherited my hair!) Even the color is just "blah". When I was younger, it was a blonde, blonde, almost white blonde. As I have gotten older, it has turned to a "dirty blonde". Really, how can you take much pride in a color that contains the word "dirty"? Exactly my point. The one thing I do have on my side is that if I am graying at all, I cannot tell. I have found one gray hair in my lifetime. I joke that my kids are turning me gray but so far, they haven't done much damage.
So...and this post really has a point to it...
In the spring I noticed my hair was getting fairly long (for me). I have never had my hair short short but I usually don't let it get too long because it is so fine (not fine as in "oooh, she is fine" but fine as in not holding a thing in it fine), it just hangs there. I heard about a professor who was growing his hair out for Locks of Love. A male professor. His words when asked about it were (I am totally condensing because I don't remember the exact words) "I thought I should walk the walk." It made me stop and think.
I have been suggesting to my girls for some time that they donate their hair to something like Locks of Love for children with cancer. The hair is used to make wigs. One of my students did something similar a couple years ago; I was so impressed with her giving spirit. The problem is that one still doesn't fully understand what that means, and the other isn't about to cut her hair. She loves ponytails. That is when I thought, "Why do you tell your girls to do it when you haven't done it yourself?" So I made the decision to not cut my hair. After much research, I decided to donate to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program because only 8 inches are required rather than 10 that Locks of Love requires. (This program actually makes/donates hair to ADULT cancer fighters) The main stipulations are that the hair cannot be chemically treated and cannot be gray. I knew this was the time since who knows when I will suddenly be gray. Especially with this crazy life. :)
I will admit, this summer, I questioned several times why on earth I was doing it. I cannot stand the weight of the hair on my neck. It drives me crazy. I have been throwing it up in a clip every chance I get even though it doesn't look nearly as chic on me as most women. (Chic is not a word associated with me anyway :)
Yet when I was tempted to cut it, I had someone in the back of my mind. A teacher from my school found out this past spring that she had pancreatic cancer. Mrs. P is an amazing woman with more strength and humor than I ever dream of having. She is fighting the cancer with everything she has. If you see me and see a pink band on my arm, it is my reminder to pray for her. I have not taken it off since I got it. After all, she can't take off the cancer, why should I take off a rubber bracelet that reminds me of her? (I do wash it on my arm in the shower :) Surely for women like Mrs. P, I could overlook a little annoyance of hair hanging on my back. Then as the summer came to an end, our faculty suffered a second blow when another teacher found out she has breast cancer. Mrs. B is another amazing woman with a fun sense of humor and a fighting spirit. She began her treatments last week.
It was never my intent to really share any of this (about my hair growth) because I don't want to showcase what I am doing. I really planned on going to my hair dresser when my hair was a little longer and having her cut the ponytail, then I would send it in to Pantene. However, an upcoming event has detoured my plans.
Pantene/Beautiful Lengths has partnered with the LPGA tour (as in lady golfers) to hold a Beautiful Length event in our area. They have also partnered with our school to raise awareness of cancer and to support our teachers, Mrs. P and Mrs. B. On September 8 at a local convention center, there will be a hair cutting event for those donating hair. Our school hopes to have our own little section. I think my hair is there. I think I am right at the required length, though it is going to be shorter than I usually cut it. But it will grow. (Hubby may miss it though :)
If you are in our area and have untreated long hair and would like to donate it to a good cause, you can come join our group! You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also visit the website at www.beautifullengths.com for more information.
Quick bit of information...it takes 6 ponytails to make one wig!
I wish now we had waited to cut our daughter's hair; she probably was close on length. Her long hair was driving me crazy too (even though hers is everything but fine!).
I can only hope that one day my own kids will want to give from the heart. I hope that is the legacy I leave with them.
And what do I hope even more? That a cure would be found. That cancer would be wiped away, as well as the tears of many who watch their loved ones fight it.