My sister; Linda Mae Dunlap succumbed to cancer in August,
2003. At that time I vowed to grow my hair and donate it to Locks of Love in my
sister’s memory. Not that my sister ever wore a wig when her hair fell out.
She wore her bald head like a crown. She relished the attention it attracted.
My sister had natural curly, platinum blond hair. It was her best feature. Our
Mother would spend joyful time brushing and draping long curls down her back
when we were children. Telling her how beautiful her hair and curls were. My
hair was straight and plain yellow blond. Which she quickly braided in pig
tails, often poking my eyes as she hurried with this utilitarian task. My
sister gleaned lots of attention with her beautiful hair as a child.
When we were teen-agers my sister suffered from acme, a large
nose and a skinny body that lacked curves. Her beautiful hair she chopped off
in a short “Poodle Cut” that was the fashion trend. It did not flatter her.
She disdained mascara to her white lashed pale blue eyes. However, she
insisted on applying black eyebrow pencil to her eyebrows and crimson red
lipstick to her over large lips. She would accept no suggestions from me on
fashion or beauty tips. I found her appearance almost embarrassing. I had
become almost a “Fashion Plate”, pouring over Vogue magazines and trying to
emulate their style with my limited budget. My hair was a pretty natural honey
blonde which I cultivated into waves with nightly pin curls. I still envied my
sister’s natural curly hair.
I had not let my hair grow since I was in my twenties. I had
very good hair, I was told by hair stylists, great natural color and lots of
body. When I was in my thirties my life was very busy. As a widowed mother of
five and an owner of a Yacht Charter business, I had little time to maintain
long hair. So, I kept it short often getting a perm for waves so I could just
run a comb and dryer through it.
So, when Linda died and I let my hair grow, it was an
adjustment. I let it grow until it was to my waist. I usually wore it twisted
and pinned up. I found long hair very uncomfortable and a bit annoying. I
couldn’t wash it every day as I did with my short hair. I learned why in the
olden days the ladies brushed their hair 100 strokes a night. It helped keep
the long hair clean. I hated it on my neck and in my face. None the less I let
it grow going once a year to have the ends trimmed. Now eight years have
passed. Where, oh where, has the time gone????
So, yesterday I dropped four dogs off at the groomers and
decided it was time to cut my hair. I went to “ Hair Cuts 4 U”. It was like
fate, Susan, my German born hair stylist was standing out side having a smoke
as I parked my car. I said; “Somehow, I knew you would be here today.”
Eight years ago, the morning my sister died, I came into her shop after having
dropped Linda’s two dogs at the Vet to be euthanized. I had been up all night
with my sister culminating a ten day death vigil. I was exhausted and stumbled
into Susan’s arms sobbing; “ My sister just died and I need a hair
Now here she is as though waiting just for me. I told her today
was the day. It was interesting to us that the pony tail she collected my hair
in was a lovely honey blonde. She clipped it off and remaining was my now
mostly silver hair. Some might say platinum. Susan was cutting and fluffing
and commented on how curly my hair was. I replied that I had always had a bit
of a wave in the back .
And she said; “Mary, look at your curls!”
She turned the chair around so I was facing the mirror. There
my reflection showed a Silver/Platinum curly haired 71 year old lady looking ten
years younger than when she entered the shop. I gasped with delight. “My
sister has rewarded me for my efforts”.
Thank you Linda!