Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shorn Identity

"What pretty hair!"
"It's a good hair day!"
"Love your hair!"

I'm on my way to Karla's to videotape the shaving of her head. Her doctors said her hair would be falling out by Day 13...man, they pegged it. She was able to pull it out by the handfuls today, so it's time. She wants this saved as a permanent record of what is taking place. My younger son was asking me, "I don't understand. Why does she want this on video?" And I tried to explain, but in so many ways, this is about our femaleness. I am just not sure that even my best words and my most thorough explanation could enable my 14-year-old son a glimpse of the female psyche and what is really going on here.

"She was born with a head full of hair!"
"Come let Momma fix your hair."
"You need some ribbons for your hair."

Over the past six weeks, only family and friends have known about Karla's cancer. Just the people she has chosen to tell, and of course, the people they have chosen to tell. But you certainly don't know she's sick by looking at her. If you were behind her at Kroger, you wouldn't know. If you passed her on the street, you wouldn't know. If you saw her at the pool with her kids, you wouldn't know. But once the locks are shorn--once the head is shaved--she will be clearly identified as a cancer patient.

"I HATE my hair!"
"But everyone else has highlights! Why can't I get highlights?"
"It's called a straight iron..."

I was at Hobby Lobby last week picking up some scrapbooking supplies, and a beautiful, hot pink Princess wall art caught my eye. It is obviously for a little girl's room, but I felt such a nudge from the Holy Spirit that I was to pick it up for Karla. It was unmistakable--one of those times when there was absolutely no confusion about what the Lord wanted me to do. I thought I was supposed to give it to her when we went for her second round of chemo tomorrow, but no--it's for tonight.

It's a collage of words, words that our Heavenly Father wants His daughter to hear and to remember:

Beloved, Holy, Princess, Treasured, Beautiful, Honored, Light, Daughter of the King, Cherished, Redeemed, Favored, Blessed, Daughter of our Father, Miracle

I pray Karla will read those words again and again, because this is the only identity that counts. Sure, she's been known as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student, a tennis pro, a physical therapist assistant, a wife, a stepmom, a mother, and now, yes, a cancer patient. But when Abba Daddy looks at His little girl, He sees a Princess. He sees one who is washed in the Blood. He sees her journey. And He sees it up close.

Karla with husband Doug, who showed his support by
shaving his head too.

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Kelly Combs said...

As a big haired girl I can relate to holding your identity with your hair. I've cried over haircuts before - just a bad haircut, not a shaved head. I admire Karla's attitude, and so glad she has a friend like you.

Kelly Combs said...

p.s. I am going to She Speaks again this year, and will be thinking of you, since we met there!

Shan said...

I can remember when my sister's hair fell out - twice. She didn't have cancer either time. She has a condition called Alopecia areata (her immune system attacks her hair follicles). Each time, she was bald for a decent span before her hair would return. My sister has ALWAYS been known for her hair. It is thick, dark, flowing, and oh so long.
Going through these events were tricky. I can remember how painful it was for her when she lost it all. Nowadays, she knows it could come out at any moment, so she tries to remember "it's just hair" and enjoy it while she has it!
Your friend is a brave woman. I'm thankful she has the attitude she has while going through this challenge in life.

Kris @ WUHS and Eclipsed said...

(((Hugs))) to all of you. I know what a difficult time this is for you all, but the grace with which you are walking it is going to bless someone who needs the message of hope, peace, acceptance, and the love of their Heavenly Father today.

amy said...

We will be praying for Karla!I haven't blogged in a while due to family and life! But now trying to get back on, and I immediately wahted to see your site and how you all were doing and read about your SIL...I recently had to go through a journey with my dad's cancer..needed to be a reminder of all the names our Father has for his children! thank you1

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kindness, your prayers, and these encouraging words. I am so thankful for them. Please keep praying!

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