Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sit down while I tell you a story

When I was a little girl I had short hair

I hated having short hair! I begged and begged to have long hair! My sister, had long hair, she would get these rats nests in it, that my mother took 2 to 3 hours every saturday to work out, but I was told no ... I would not take care of my hair, so I had to keep my hair short.

The irony of the comment was not lost on me.


All through elementary school ... my sister kept the baseball cap on ... I begged for long hair ...

I entered high school and begged ... and was still told no ... my mom compromised by letting me keep it shoulder length and permed ...Varsity Volleyball
Pk3PHCA(yes, that's an actual yearbook photo!)

So, when I graduated,highschool graduate I let my hair grow ... and I let it grow ... it grew ...and it was thick, and healthy ...and long.

Wedding Day,


And ... I loved my hair ... I could have used with some curl ... but I loved my hair. I loved the color ... I loved the texture ... and I loved the length. It eventually grew below my waist, then clear down to my hips. I would sit on it when I sat down.

I loved my hair. It was the long hair that I always dreamed of having! From early childhood ... I'd dreamed of having this hair!!

I hated my eyes ...I hated my chin ...good gravy what girl wants a jay leno chin???
I hated my body ...and everything about it. I had a chest that was way too large, not only was did it get in the way, but it was physically uncomfortable, and it drew way too much attention. For someone who'd been through what I'd been through ...that, was definitely an unnecessary part of my anatomy. I hated my arms, my gosh they are larger than life itself. My fingers are too short and my feet too big .... my legs too large and my hips too big ...there is nothing about my body that I like ...but my hair ... I loved my hair.

Then one day, a girl in the youth group challenged me to donate my hair to locks of love. We were supposed to do it together. I panicked at the thought. I argued with God for over 6 months about it. How could God ask me to give up the one thing about my body that I actually liked?

The one thing that I'd wanted my whole childhood but had been denied ... and was actually loosing ... because of medications? lupus? who knew what was causing it to fall out, but it was ... but why would God ask me to donate the precious inches I'd waited years to have?

But after 6 months of arguing with God about it, I finally told him "No, I simply cannot do it, my hair simply is my only thing about me that I can tolerate. I NEED my long hair to even look at myself in the mirror."
I went told him that in a church service on Sunday, and I went home from church and turned on the TV, a local news anchor was being interviewed about her battle with breast cancer. They showed her having to shave her head from the chemo .. "whoa ...dirty pool God ...but ok"

The next day, I went and donated 14 inches. Ironically, my hair was still half way down my back when they were done!

It was so hard to hear them cut those scissors, but my hair looked healthier with the 14 inches gone ... and 6 weeks later ... my doctor in an exam ... felt a lump in my breast ... I was frozen ... what if I'd kept my no to a no??????? How could I have faced myself in that mirror then? I sat in the breast surgeon's waiting room wondering what I'd have done if I'd kept my 14 inches of hair ... only to loose ALL of my hair ...

It turned out to not be cancer ... I was lucky.

2 years later I donated 10 more inches ...and still had it half way down my back, but by then ... my hair, falling out from lupus ... was looking unhealthy, and scraggly ....my hair that I'd always loved so much was becoming an object of frustration.

A year ago, I cut it to my shoulders. Complements galore came ... and tears fell from my face.

Everyone loved the new Peggi ... AuntPeggi-ShortHair

I was frustrated ... I knew it looked healthier ... but I also knew it was the end of my long hair, for good ..

I let it grow ... and let it grow ... but today ... I got it cut again ...

I thought I'd posted on a forum in a tone that just mentioned it, but someone was able to 'read through' my tone that the mourning of my long hair ...

The identity that was caught up in what I saw as the only thing in me as beautiful ...

The intellectual part of me knows better .... that doesn't change the emotional part of me at all ...there will always be the little girl in me stomping my feet demanding the long hair ...


  1. Oh, I can totally understand you on this!

  2. A poignant and thoughtful posting. And, long hair or short, you remain the person you are,and she is pretty nice.

  3. Four years ago I had breast cancer. My hair all fell out at one time while I was in the shower and it was over a year before I had enough hair to consider not wearing a wig or a scarf or a hat. Over all, it was the single hardest thing about being that sick. Not that being bald would kill me, or that chemo and surgery were easy. But being bald announced loudly to everyone that saw me that I was dying, and not everyone is kind about it. What you did was a wonderful thing. Thank you very much for sacraficing what you loved to make living more bearable for someone else.