Daughters, Wigs and Me
2/18/2011 - Susan Terbay
Daughters, Wigs and Me
Recently my daughter from New York was in town to visit with me and to be a part of helping me deal with my path of healing. We set aside one morning to go wig shopping. This adventure included my oldest daughter who lives near me, my daughter in New York, another daughter who lives in Austin; and to get a male perspective – my four year old grandson. My daughter in Austin was with us through technology as we sent her pictures of the different hair styles to be chosen.
One of the aspects of my daughters that my sons do not have is that they see me not just as mom but also a woman. My sons see me as mom and mom only. They want to fix things for me; to make my life work – and that’s okay because my sons are reacting like young men. My daughters want to ‘be’ for me as young women as well as daughters and that’s okay because my daughters are reacting as young women. And so the fun began as they went about finding different styles. The only requirement I wanted was to keep as close to my silver hair color as possible. I didn’t want anything outlandish – I want to be as close to normal for me as possible. The style that we finally chose fit my personality and fit my requirements and so we ordered it. After that was accomplished my daughters suggested that I try on something outlandish in color, length, style, etc. They also asked my grandson to find something silly for his Naanaa to try on. So what does he choose: same hair style, color and length of my own hair as it is right now. At that moment I just went, hmmmmm – what is the youngest male in this family telling me? My daughters however found a wig that was auburn in color – the color I had when I was young and the style was long and flowing. I put it on and we all laughed because it made me look old!!!
Some lessons I am learning on this particular part of my journey of life is coming from younger people – as usual. I always thought I knew everything until children came into my life and showed me life through their eyes and frankly sometimes I need to see that life. I did learn that I’m not in my 20’s anymore and to try and look like I am only makes me look older than I am. My grandson’s choice caused me to ponder but it also made me see myself through his eyes – an older woman with silver hair and he’s okay with that. Either he sees me as silly or he just sees me as his grandmother and the wig he found would fix my hair better just like his daddy and his uncle who want to fix things for me.
In a week I will be taking my first treatment for chemo. Am I looking forward to it? No! But I also want to live a few more years with these daughters, sons and grandchildren of mine and in order to do that I have to face something I don’t want to face. So, as with every challenge in my life, I always think of my motherhood. Years ago as my time drew near to give birth to the child within, I dreaded it. After the first one I knew what was going to happen within my body and it isn’t pleasant – it is very demanding and challenging and yes, painful at times. I had six children; I have six chemo treatments. After the first treatment, I will know what to expect. So, I see this chemo as going into labor to bring forth new life.
No, I’m not giving birth to a child but I am giving ‘birth’ to life – my life and while chemo isn't something to look forward to I believe, as with the labor of giving birth to my children, the results will be worth it because life itself is worth it.
By Susan Handle Terbay
|4 Comments From Other Members
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|| from wrote:
I'll be thinking of you, Susan. You're being remarkably brave.
||Christy Steiger from Crown Point IN wrote:
Daughters are fabulous when it comes to support. My good friend lost her hair with cancer treatments, too. She bought a wig, but found it annoying to wear. So we made her some pretty scarf hats. When her hair came back in, it was curly! She's been cancer free for 3 years now. You will do as well, I'm sure!
||Anne Mudd from Wheat Ridge CO wrote:
Your positive attitude is inspiring, Susan. It's good to see your thoughts here; i was just thinking about you and wondering of your well being. I began donating my hair to 'Locks of love', as a teenager. My hair was dark auburn then, it's silver now.
||Susan Terbay from Dayton OH wrote:
This is a dark path I'm on and I'm depending on the support and love of friends and family to be the candles to help light my way. To say I'm not scared is a lie - I am. It is the unknown which is the worst of it all and thus the dark moment when friends become my light. I do hope that anything I write touches someone to help them in their dark moments.
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