It’s no secret that my daughter, Alice, loved her long hair. We all did! It was the most beautiful curly hair with natural golden highlights and baby ringlets around her face. In some ways, that crazy hair was part of her personality. And for the longest time, Alice refused to cut it.
We talked often to Alice about cutting her hair. We said she could just get a trim, we told her it would grow back even longer and thicker, we talked about how it would be easier to wash and brush. She just wasn’t interested. She loved that hair.
But as her hair grew longer and longer, I began trying new angels. I didn’t want to cut her hair any more than she did, I loved it too, but it was beginning to get in the way. One of the options I discussed with Alice was Locks of Love. She had a lot of questions, but decided at that time that it wasn’t for her.
Well, life has a funny way of nudging you in the right direction sometimes. Alice had the opportunity to spend a couple weeks with my grandma, Gigi, who has cancer. Gigi is a survivor. When she was first diagnosed, she was not given good news. We were told she didn’t have much time. And even though I was devastated at the thought of losing her, I knew in my heart that her time wasn’t up. Gigi knew it too. She went through chemo therapy, surgery and many medications that took a toll on her body but kept her alive. She lost her hair.
Alice was not even born yet when my grandma was diagnosed with cancer. At that time, my wish was that my strong, beautiful grandma, who took up so much space in all of my childhood memories, so much room in my heart, would live to know that I’d named my first daughter after her. Alice, a name that means noble and sweet.
Four years later, we are lucky to still have our Gigi. One morning, not long after Gigi’s visit to Miami, Alice told me it was time to cut her hair. She asked if she could send it to Gigi.
My little Alice, sweet and noble. When I explained to her that we could help another person like Gigi by donating the hair to Locks of Love, she said she wanted to do that. I took her to the hair salon and we showed her how much hair she’d need to cut off. She said fine. I felt like I might cry.
After double (okay, triple) checking with Alice, we took one last look and got started with the haircut. Alice’s first haircut!
At first, Alice seemed a little shocked. I mean, that was a LOT of hair to cut off and this was her very first haircut ever. She kept turning her head side to side, examining her new hair. After a quick blowdry and style, she was happy with her new do. It suits her, don’t you think?
On our way home, Alice was a little quiet. She said she missed her old hair, but she didn’t cry about it. She simply told me, “Mommy, I want to write on the note that this hair is from Gigi.” This girl takes my breath away.
Today we mailed Alice’s hair to Locks of Love. We hope that someone might find some confidence and comfort from this small donation that was given with so very much love from someone with a very big heart.
Do I miss her long hair? Well, if you know me, you know that I am a fiercely sentimental person. For me that wasn’t just hair. Alice’s babyhood, her first steps, her tantrums and first laughs, her toddler memories were tangled up in that mess of curls. She looks older now, more mature, more of a little girl. But she will always be my baby (and she says it’s okay if I call her that forever) and I have never been more proud of the person she is. She says she misses her long hair, but we remind each other that it will grow right back and that we are so lucky it will. My beautiful girl has never been more beautiful.
Besides, I kept this…
p.s. If you’d like to leave a comment for Alice, I will read them to her. She has enjoyed sharing this special experience.