Right this second, I'm not feeling as upset about the likely chemo aspect of this whole process as I was. Still, I was a little startled at the strength of my reaction to the news that I have baldness in my future.
The funny thing is that I've never been much a fan of my hair. It never does what I want it to, and it's only within the last four years that I've found a hairdresser who can really cut it to my taste (but he's expensive, so I only go, like, twice a year). It is a strange, indeterminate colour and it's frizzy but never actually curls, and in moments of frustration I've been heard to burst out, "All right! That's it! I'm shaving my head!"
It's just . . . I never really meant it.
If you know me at all, you'll know that I am neither the most liberal nor the most conservative student of the Bible, and I don't really think that a woman's hair length reflects her salvation status. But I do kind of think Paul was onto something when he said "a woman's hair is her glory." Long or short, dyed or naturally hued, When I joked around with some of the guys at Starbucks about being bald for Christmas, they were sympathetic and still laughed at my jokes, but when I told 409-Caitlin, she practically started crying for me. Heather-of-Six cried for me at the news, too.
I know it's only temporary. And when it comes back, they tell me, it will come back curly. And maybe blonde. I used to be blonde. And I always wanted curly hair.
(One time I prayed that God would make my hair curly, but seriously? This is a little extreme. On the other hand, I suppose it might indicate that God really does listen to our prayers, and sometimes His answers include a big ol' long wait . . . And then . . . a really weird answer. Is this doing "more than all we could ask or imagine"?)
But the thing is, this is my hair. Like it or not, it's what I've had since I've had any. I've grown into it, and it has (though not always as I wanted it to) expressed something about me. Even when I've hated it, it has in a way been something of my "pride and joy." And so sometimes, when I think about it, I can't help getting a little sad.