Friday, October 19, 2012

A snippet, aka Finding the meaning in pink hair.

The Do is a week and a half old now, and three days into pink-ness.  I have observed quite a few things since going short (and now pink):

- Some people do judge others by their appearance, and treat them accordingly. It would seem that it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a lady with very short hair (now bleached and pink) and black glasses, must be in want of a wife (Jane Austen, and my gay friends, forgive me.  And in a way, I'm loving the raised eyebrows, in solidarity).

- However, the people who matter, don't judge by appearances.  Even if they don't like or don't understand what they see.  They find it within themselves to be accepting, kind, stalwart, empathising, encouraging - and it doesn't seem to require any extra effort on their parts.

That had me reflecting, on what a simple, but enormously generous gift someone gives you, when they treat you well, regardless of your situation in life.  Acceptance, respect, gestures of kindness, can be so uplifting, they can remove the sting of much awfulness, the pain of much discouragement and difficulty.  When I think back on the times when I have been the recipient of someone's thoughtfulness, empathy and recognition, it's the essence of those moments that stays with me.  Even if it's only a well-timed smile, or the sharing of a story, it makes such a difference in the richness of life.  I need to know more about kindness.  I can feel a new reading project coming on...

In other trivial moments, No. 1 daughter and I were discussing what I should do next, with the Do.  She suggested topiary.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why I Shaved My Head...

Back again, after 8 or so months, most of it spent without a computer.  You'll be glad to know I wrote many posts for my blog in that time - all in my head, while showering, hanging washing, commuting (esp. that last one - a 3.25 hr daily commute 2 days a week adds up to 26 hours a month on a train).  To my 5 readers (no, I'm flattering myself!) - to my 3 readers, I apologise.  But at this point, why bother covering the year-that-was, let's just jump to NOW -

BLW, I'd like to say I don't know what I was thinking, but in fact I knew exactly what I was thinking.  I was thinking lots of things.  And did them.

I know there's lots of blogs out there, where people touch so many readers with their writing on people they love, people they've known, people they've read about, who are dealing with cancer and dealing with loss.  It's such a good process, in helping the writer express their feelings and their grief, and helping readers, who hear their own inner voice reflected in what they're reading.

This is not one of those blog posts.  Although if it was, I could write about my son's best-friend's dad, who passed away last month, who was a great dad to his boys, and to mine when they were all hanging out together, as they did.  He taught the boys to cook, to BBQ, to drink in moderation, to love people, to dream, and to do. He was big into doing things.  All sorts of projects went from dream to reality with this guy.  He built a catamaran from scratch, in his garage (and out of the garage, under a tarp when it got too big).  And while he was doing all this stuff, his boys (and mine) were alongside, maybe only doing their teenage stuff in parallel, but still they saw it all, and there was always an open invitation to have a go and join in.  He loved his boys, he was proud of his boys, and he showed it.  I only met him a few times - everything else I know about him came from my son, who spent a good bit of his growing up years as the 'extra child' in this man's home.

The kind of love and acceptance he gave these kids, was enabling, and awesome.  Together as friends, they aren't frightened to have a go at something, even if it involves making many mistakes, and they aren't sure how it will all turn out.  (I put their recent forays into car improvements into the latter category).  He taught them all sorts of stuff, not formally, but by doing it, and just being who he was.  He walked alongside his boys as long as he could, and when he left this life, he left his boys so much, with skill, love, 'how-to', 'get-on-with-it', and 'bugger-what-anyone-else-thinks'.  They will, in their own way, be men in their dad's image, and that is something I can't be sad about.

And so.

To another lovely friend, whose stock-standard greeting to me, as her voice sails across the room, is "How are you, gorgeous girl?" - a tall lady, with bold strides, bold humour, and a manner about her that can lift a whole room into good spirits.  She is in the middle of treatment, still greeting me the same way, and wearing the most awesome blonde wig, that never has a bad hair day.

To these special people in my life, I doff my cap.  And my hair :-), gone to be 1/6 of a wig for someone with cancer.