Ah, turning fifty-five. I didn’t dread it like some of my friends. I’d had a goal oriented life, and checking off achievements gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I verbally recounted some of them to my husband on my double nickel day.
“Learn Spanish, check. Learn to crochet and make blankets for the nursing home residents, check. Home school six children to graduation, check.” The sense of accomplishment made me giddy with joy and gratefulness to the Lord for his help.
“You are so much more than those things, Babe, but I am very proud of you. Happy Birthday. Now what are you going to do?” My husband pecked me on the cheek.
“Write a book? I don’t know. Dig out that Bucket List, I guess. Onward.”
And then my hair fell out.
An allergic reaction to fish covered me from head to toe with an awful rash. The doctor treated the situation with meds and topical lotions. During the time that I had the rash, my hair fell out. The doctor and I tried everything to get it to grow back. Nada.
My bold new world turned into a prison as I avoided going out. I spent way too much time each morning trying to arrange, pin, coif, style, and otherwise disguise a huge bald spot on the top of my head. I looked like one of those 16th century monks.
My poor husband finally got tired of dodging hair pins and stuck his neck out.
“Look, Kim, why don’t you try wigs? They aren’t that expensive and some of the older ladies at work wear them. You can’t tell.” Mark stood behind the closet door, just in case.
He took a big breath. “Kim, you act like you can’t accomplish anything anymore because of your lack of hair. Remember, you are ‘equipped for every good work’.” He took a wise exit.
For the first time in my life I felt old, decrepit, useless, and well, ashamed. I had friends who lost their hair to chemo. What right had I to take so much stock in this malady, in my outward appearance? I avoided friends, events, grocery shopping, even church.
I ordered a wig that very day.
I think my husband staged an intervention. He must have been checking the arrival date online. Two of my best friends happened to be at my house the day the box came.
“What’s in the box?” Mary asked, trying too hard to sound nonchalant.
“A wig.” I made my own stab at indifference.
“Oh, put it on. Let’s see it.” Karen tried to open the box for me.
“I’ll do it later. Let’s finish our coffee.”
“Oh, come on. It will be fun. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wear it,” Mary said.
“Oh, alright. I’ll be back in a minute.” I wasn’t about to put that thing on in front of my friends who weren’t having any follicle failures.
I put the wig on in the bathroom, hated it, and stuffed it back in the box.
“It looks stupid. Dumb idea. Would anybody like a piece of cake?”
“What?” my two friends exclaimed in unison. They rushed toward me and pushed me down the hall to my bathroom.
“Where is it?” Mary found the contraption and put it on the top of my head.
Mary and Karen fingered, combed, fluffed, coiffed, and otherwise clucked like hens over me and pronounced it good.
“Look at you! Beautiful, just like your hair before the rash,” Karen said. They beamed. I cried.
“We know. You want your hair back.” Mary handed me a tissue.
“Yes, but that’s not why I’m crying. I’ve been ridiculous over this hair thing.”
“You have, you nut. We need our Kim back. There are new worlds to conquer, hair or no. Let’s go plan that mission trip to Mexico.” Karen pushed me away from the mirror.
“And that cruise to the Bahamas. Remember? We were going to do that once we got all our kids out the door,” Mary said.
Planning future achievements would have to wait, because Mark appeared with a bouquet of roses. My friends mysteriously disappeared.
“I love it!” Mark gave me a kiss.
“You better.” I did a spin to show off my new look.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.