At the end of last summer, I decided to stop coloring my hair. It was a thoughtful decision. I had discussed it with my stylist, who responded, “Well, you do know you will look older, right?” Dang it. I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case….
Other reasons for my switch included being increasingly mindful of what I put on my skin, and in my body. And, truthfully, I hadn’t minded the tuffs of white that even hair color could not hide for long. So, I thought, ‘why not?’ Ever since, each month another inch of colored hair lands on the cutting room floor, and reveals more and more truth.
Fast forward to today. Being home alone for the day, I decided to experiment a bit and see how curly I could get my hair. (I know, I know…but sometimes the creative bug bites, and you have to embrace these kind of things.) I pulled out a bunch of small rollers and loaded my damp head full of rows of slim blue cylinders. Then, I looked in the mirror and saw in my reflection, my grandma.
Instantly my reflexes wanted to pull out the curlers, while my internal reaction spouted things like, “What?” “How did this happen?” “Wait, where is that box of hair color?” Don’t get me wrong, I loved my grandma, but it was shocking to see her looking back at me from the mirror. Soon, my responses took front and center, and I remembered something about her. She was about my age when her eldest daughter brought her to the doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. Admitted to the hospital on Monday, she died on Friday of leukemia. I think this was my grandma’s form of the “mic drop.”
Life is fragile.
Patients teach me this every single day as they lament not having taken advantage of life earlier. A phone call comes with news of death or a diagnosis: each stamps truth on our heart: Life is fragile.
We work hard, play hard, take care of our families, and our communities. Sometimes…we forget to stop and breath in the life we have. Enjoy the scent of chocolate chip cookies. Notice the paw prints in the snow, the bloom of a flower. Taste the rich flavors of your meal. Touch the texture of your blanket or the soft skin of a loved one’s hand. Don’t wait, because…
Life is fragile my friends.
Celebrate the life you have. Remember to live. Do the things that call to you. Do them now.
Breathing in life with you,