As the new year dawned, I decided to slack off on the hair straightening. I was getting tired of all that time with the flatiron. Although my hair started off with nice long curls in the morning, it frizzed as the day wore on until I looked like Roseann Roseanna Danna from Saturday Night Live. To combat the frizzes, I tamed it in a high ponytail, imagining how romantic the curls looked cascading down to my bare neck.
Before mass on Sunday, I had pulled my hair into the ponytail with a clip and I stopped in front of the mirror to loosen one curl so it hung down from the nape of my neck. Sexy!
Then I got to church and was thrilled to see many of the friends I hadn't seen during our busy fall schedule. That's when Michelle walked in. She beamed and looked radiant and wore a blue knit cap on her head. Michelle's hair was very like mine, dark and curly, but she had lost it all in chemotherapy since I'd last seen her. Michelle is two years younger than I am but has much younger children -- four of them ages 9 to 3.
Here are Michelle's beautiful
children from last Easter
Seeing Michelle, whose latest MRI shows tumors too small to measure, I wanted to pull down the curly ponytail which seemed ridiculous. I at least wanted to tuck up the errant curl that I had so lovingly released. Michelle didn't notice. She hugged me and asked about Grace's college search.
And I sighed, realizing that once again I'd been caught up in the minutiae of life with hair and teaching and kids' sports eating up my thoughts and my time. I bet Michelle doesn't spend time thinking about those things any more. I bet she sits with her kids and reads; I bet she gives them hugs that never end. I bet she doesn't give a thought for the long curls that are missing, but gives thanks every day that she can comb her little girls' hair.
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