A few weeks ago, Ali, Cindy* and I took a semi-spontaneous road trip from Farmington to Ephriam to visit Snow College. Ali met with a guidance counselor about her first semester schedule, Cindy paid a bill and I got to see campus and the cute apartment complex where Ali will be living. Before leaving we stopped to take a few pictures. As Cindy handed the camera off to me to join Ali by the flowers, she ran her fingers through her hair and looked down at all the stands left behind in her hand. We were in good humor about it (check out the picture) but it was still surprising. I thought her hair was safe through a few more rounds of treatment.
After Quarter Pounders and a visit to Grandma, we arrived home. As we chatted around the counter, deciding if we were too tired to play Rook, Cindy plucked strands of hair off her clothing. After looking over the pile she had gathered in a baseball cap, she announced, “I think we better shave it tonight” and then after a short pause she added, “But it has to be fun.” Not only was Cindy taking her hair before chemo slowly crept in to claim it, she wanted to have a good time doing it.
Ali skillfully cropped one side, while I worked on the other. We left a 3-inch strip down the center for a mohawk. If someone had asked you in December whether Cindy Gardner would ever have a mohawk, what would you have said?
I’m pretty sure I would have laughed out loud and I certainly wouldn’t have thought she’d look so dang good with a punk ‘do! Reed decided to shave his head to match. Using Deven’s fancy clippers, Cindy replaced the cul-do-sac do with a new Bruce Willis look (which I think is quite flattering).
Cindy kept a few locks for sentiment (and color samples) and Deven buzzed the rest. We laughed because it was fun. We cried because we were saying goodbye to Cindy’s beautiful hair, and also because we were acknowledging that it was the cancer’s fault it was gone. We all know Cindy is beautiful. In a stunning, radiant kind of way. I didn’t realize it had nothing to do with her hair.
Courage. Amen! That’s Cindy! As this battle continues, I’m sure Cindy will show this courage again and when she isn’t up for it, we’ll all try to be courageous for her. Though I doubt it will come quite as naturally to most of us.
*I’m calling Mom, “Cindy” to stick with blog format.
**We’re hoping Cindy gets to keep her eyelashes. That seems cosmically fair.
Posted by: Erica Gardner