It’s Just hair

Well, it’s gone.

We knew the day was coming. Ever since my wife’s cancer diagnosis in late September and the ensuing prescription for chemotherapy, we knew the days of her beautiful, flowing, auburn hair were numbered.

It’s just what happens when those powerful cancer-killing chemicals go racing through a person’s body.

Personally, I was expecting trauma and heartbreak when “HAIR GONE” day came… from me, that is. I knew SHE would handle it just fine.

In fact, anticipating a sky-high level of emotional devastation, I wrote her a lovely little free verse poem called, “It’s Just Hair” to help cushion the blow. (I would share it here, but it is a little too personal and intimate.)

So then, as the stuff began showing up on the pillowcase and coming out in clumps, we realized it was time.

As her hairdresser came to our home one night and gently, lovingly buzzed it right down to the scalp, we were both surprisingly OK. No hair Joan

I went to the utility room, got the broom and dustpan, swept it all up, and tossed it.



We looked at her mirrored reflection and marveled at how lovely and round and symmetrical her head is. I made jokes about polishing her “dome” with a cloth now and then.

And then we kissed and smiled, looked each other in the eye and said, “It’s just hair.”

As these things often do, it caused me to lapse into reflection.

Joan with turbanI thought about how easily and how often in my life I have confused form and substance. I mused over the question of why I do that and how annoyingly frequently it occurs. I asked myself, “Self… how is it that you are so quick to recognize the difference between ‘hair’ and ‘her,’ when it comes to your spouse, and yet are often so slow to grant others the same grace?”

And then I got global and wondered, “Am I the only one who puts unreasonable confidence in outward, surface appearances and punts on the hard work of diving a little deeper and trying a little harder to understand the souls of other people?”
And I thought, “Naaaaaah. Probably not.”

I also realized it was time to pull out 2 Corinthians 4:18, commit it to memory and try, yet again, to live by its wise guidance: “… because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

Abundant blessings;

16 Responses to “It’s Just hair”

  1. 1 Warren Molton
    November 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    A wondefull telling of the tale. Please tell Joan that I said she is beautiful and I like her looks even better without the hat.

  2. 5 Lisa matthews
    November 13, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Russell, my name is Lisa matthews and I have been enjoying the friendship of your sister Melinda for over 18 years. She has graciously shared her love for her family over the years. I just want to let you know you and your precious wife are in my prayers daily. I so feel enormous faith and joy when reading your posts( that your sister allows me to read) I am a fellow Christian and truly believe in Gods grace and unconditional love. Please know that you arebheard and loved by individuals that you have touched by your faith and words of he true gospel. All of God’s blessings and pure grace lisa

  3. 7 donna ziegenhorn
    November 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Tell Joan I think she looks smashing and I want her to teach me how to tie a turban! Thanks for sharing your reflection and reminding me of that scripture.

  4. November 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Love and prayers for you and your wife, Russ. I too have memorized 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, btw, and recite/pray it often.

  5. December 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Beautiful writing and beautiful wife. If you’re open to it, I’d like to send your wife a card. See my blog. The Karle’s Wings link at top explains the ministry.

  6. December 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    A really beautiful post. Yea, it is just hair. The fact is that most of our experiences here on Earth are best understood as Temporary. We will get through all of this.

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