Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I’ve been asked SO many times recently why I chose to have my head shaved -
and, despite all the times I’ve trotted out the 'sound bites' and come up with varying degrees of clever answers, I’m still not sure I know.

So I decided to list some of them:
Caveat: all of my ‘motivations’ are pieces of the truth; none are the complete truth; probably even all added together are not the complete truth.
*After 30+ yrs of working in pediatric healthcare and seeing too many kids die of cancer, it just felt like time to contribute to funding for research aimed at a cure, since, if they’re coming after public servants to strip them of their pensions, can money for curing pediatric cancer be far behind?

*Several people I love have faced cancers in the past 18 months and are currently (or have recently) undergone combinations of chemo, radiation and surgical interventions - with good results so far, although life, and body, altering.
People, I might add, who are dealing with life threatened conditions with more grace, faith and courage than I can imagine or hope to muster up if I were in their shoes.

*There are too few opportunities offered in our culture to do something that is 'noble' or simply ‘right’ which ‘costs’ us nothing…which is also why I donate blood on a regular basis, signed up for the Blood Marrow Donor Registry etc. I don’t ‘grow’ my hair, or ‘make’ bone marrow or blood cells…those are biological processes, instituted by God, which my body does automatically. If they can symbolically, or literally, be used to the service of others than I feel an obligation to give.
*There’s an energy/high to being part of something larger than self; a ‘community’ of people from all walks of life who, for one afternoon, come together to demonstrate in a visible, and fun, way that they’re committed to making a difference; to making life longer and better for future generations.

*There was a sense of gratitude that both of my sons were/are healthy and, even with all the difficulties inherent for them in being raised in a single parent household and having to face, head on, the death of a parent, childhood cancer was not one of the obstacles thrown in our path.

*It appealed to my sense of drama and bold gesture – and challenged me to examine my ideas of beauty and self. I love being older (even if not necessarily wiser) and not being so afraid of what people think of me!
I also have been pleased to discover that I am NOT my hair!
Trusting that I am loved and known intimately by a God who knows the number of hairs on my head, I’m eager to see if they’ll all be given back to me – and in what color!

*I can’t tell you how many times people have told me how brave they think I am… and how much like an imposter it makes me feel to hear it since I know its not true.
The truly brave ones are those children (and adults) who stare death in the face and don’t get a choice about losing their hair.
This was a lark for me; its life and death for them.
There’s a wonderful sense of solidarity in making a statement while raising awareness and money for the eradication of the disease that’s taking too many of them from us too soon.

It's been an adventure that is triggering other changes as well...more on that later.

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