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May 5, 2011

I got a phone call the other day from my mother-in-law.

I could tell she had something to say. I could tell because I’ve recognized the exact same tone of voice in my daughter, whom I suspect of being a clone of her grandmother. I could have been nice and listened, but I was too clueless, so I filled her in on all the details of our lives: Chris works all the time, Georgia reads all the time, Graham plays with Legos all the time.

I finally gave her a chance to speak. “I cut my hair,” she told me.


She has long snow-white hair, thick, and just the right amount of wavy. Chris’s mom has what they call “good hair,” and I’m thrilled that my daughter has it too.

“How short?”

“Short. I thought i would grow it long and put it up sometimes, but I hate messing with it.”

“Well, I’m sure it looks good,” I said sincerely. My mother-in-law is beautiful, and not vain, unlike me, who is both vainer and less good looking than she is.

“I gave it to Locks of Love,” she burst out.


Someone, somewhere, is going to wear my mother-in-law’s beautiful hair.

A lot of people have done a lot of wonderful things in my honor to help alleviate the misery that is cancer. One friend walked the Susan Komen three day specifically for me. Another friend dedicates her yoga practice to me. At least three friends donated to Susan Komen directly in my name.

No one that I know of gave away their hair until now, and all of a sudden, the grief of having lost my hair, of having been bald for a year, of having endured the awkward stage of growing it back out for another two years is healed.

The smallest things make a difference.

Thank you, Carol.

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  1. Abigail Carlton permalink

    OK, that was tear inducingly sweet. What a gesture.

  2. Aunt Lee permalink

    What a wonderful thing to do. I’m going to grow my hair, starting right now. It will be varigated silver. You and Carol have inspired me.

  3. lovethroughexample permalink

    What a beautiful story. Where can I get a mother in law like that? You have so many beautiful and inspiring stories about support you have been offered. It brings tears to my eyes.

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