My hair had started growing the first of January, about six weeks after my last chemo treatment. I continued to wear hats to cover up the awkwardness of this stage. It was coming back the most blah color ever – kind of brown, kind of gray, slightly red – just BLAH!! Nothing attractive about it.
After two months of growth, I had just enough hair to start coloring it. Secretly, I made an appointment. I did not tell anyone, mainly because I did not want input from anybody, especially my family.
As I arrived home from my clandestine appointment, my three children came out the back door ready to bombard me with school questions. They took one look at me and their reactions went as follows:
Jessica (13 years old): “Mother! That’s horrid!!”
Cory (10): Shook his head, walked away, refusing to speak to me for over an hour.
Olivia (3): “Your hair looks cute, Mom.” (If I were to have a favorite child, it would be O at this moment… just sayin’)
Well, that was quite a welcoming. “Don’t I feel so loved and encouraged,” were my initial thoughts. I realize the shock factor was playing into the scene, with my kids being completely unprepared to see my new “do.” I found it astonishing that they could be fine with my bald head, choosing to react now to my head of new hair, simply because of the color.
So… the color… you ask. Well, I had persuaded my hairdresser friend to bleach my hair. I was now a platinum blonde with a Billy Idol kind of look and style. In all honesty, it was a way for me to “entertain myself” through this phase of my journey. I was choosing joy, choosing to make myself smile… to find a tangible, visible way to celebrate what God had done in my life.
Psalm 150 is a psalm of praise that lists ways to praise the Lord. It encourages praise by the trumpet, harp, lyre, strings, flute and resounding cymbals. The final verse says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” As corny as it may sound, I felt I was praising the Lord with my hair. My Billy Idol look was my version of sounding the trumpet or clashing the cymbals.
Jess and Cory slowly accepted the new me, even admitting they kind of liked it. Ed gave me his reluctant approval, probably (and rightly so) wondering where this would all lead. Olivia showered me with affection and encouraging words. Friends flipped over the look, making me feel extremely loved. All of it – from funny family responses to jubilant friend reactions – brought me such joy and opportunity to again share my story.
Verse 3 of Psalm 150 states, “Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.”
AND… here is my personal paraphrase of verse 6: “Let every head that has hair praise the Lord. PRAISE THE LORD!!!”
(hair began growing back January 2010)