This is my Mom, Mary Smith. She died of breast cancer on April 6, 2005, three days shy of her 50th birthday. In honor of her, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week’s post will be two funny memories about her perfectly shaped bald head.
The Perfect Wig
One weekend before she was returning back to work she was determined to find the perfect wig. And not just any wig, it had to be a wig that complimented her so that no one would know she was bald or feel uncomfortable by it. My Mom was an elementary school teacher and she didn’t want her students, her co-workers, or anyone else paying “extra” attention to her. She kept saying, “I just want to go to work like usual and not draw any attention to myself!”
We went to at least 60 stores in the St. Louis area and as far as the state of Illinois- I wouldn’t doubt that we didn’t travel at least 200 miles that day! Finally in Edwardsville, IL, (55 miles from home) there it was, on a weird looking mannequin, the perfect wig. It was simple, cute and very much “Mary’s style.” It was similar to her hairstyle on the picture above. She tried it on, asked me a million times what I thought, and was finally convinced it was worth the $120. In the car, she giggled the whole way home. Like a teenager, she tried on one outfit after the next to make sure it complimented her new hair, and even went as far as putting on makeup to make sure everything looked “normal!”
Monday morning came, she was ready to go. As we waited for my Dad, she suggested we tidy up. I was wiping off the kitchen countertops, as she stood beside me next to the dishwasher. Unaware that it was in the drying mode, when she opened it, hot steam blew everywhere. She casually sighed, “whew that’s hot!” and when she turned to me, her wig was smoking and melting right before my eyes! It was literally shrinking up on her forehead as she stood there! “Mom, your wig is fire! What did you do?” She snatched it off her head as we ran to the bathroom.
I was freaking out. She was freaking out. “What the hell happened?” she kept shouting until we realized it must have been the steam. After patting it out with a few towels, she put it back on her head. The hair that was tapered so perfectly before, was now matted, rough and standing straight out like a porcupine! Immediately we burst out laughing and could not stop! It was one of those moments when we wanted to cry, but all we could do was laugh! Needless to say, she rubbed some lotion on her perfectly shaped bald head and went to work!
Two Bald Heads
My sister was having a housewarming party. My bald-headed Mom and my bald-headed step-father Ellis were sitting on the couch next to me and my husband. There was this little girl, I guess she was about 5- or 6-years old, who kept staring at my Mom. Surely she had seen men bald before, but a woman too?! …yeah that called for a stare, LOL! Eventually my Mom gestured for her to come over and she tried to explain that she was bald because she had a disease called cancer. The little girl was still confused. So my Mom said, I’m bald because I’m sick. The little girl looked at my Mom, then at Ellis, then looked back at my Mom and asked, “Is he sick too?” We all laughed so hard that night our sides were hurting! It was the sweetest moment ever!
To anyone experiencing the trials of breast cancer, please be encouraged & keep the faith!! To everyone else, remember early detection saves lives!!
Psalm 30:2 (NIV) Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.