I find that one of the hardest things to throw away are Maggie’s hair clips, the little spring-loaded teeth things that gripped her long hair either in a pony tail or up out of her eyes. I’m not sure why. But for some reason those hurt. They are everywhere, too. In the car. In every drawer. In coat pockets. Everywhere. I didn’t help matters. I liked to be prepared and have them around so when she needed one I had one magically appear. I wasn’t being nice. I just did it for the smiles. I liked the smiles so really, I did it for me. Now it hurts to throw them away.
Maybe I’m old fashion or, really, heck I’m not sure but something about her hair was wonderful to me. It was long, straight, brown and, frankly, a little thin. Not thin as in “falling out” but thin as in “fine” – she had very fine hair. It was a part of her I loved: in my face, blowing in the wind, styled for going out, mussed up in the morning, wet up in a towel. Man, come to think about it, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her with her hair up in a towel. Maybe it’s been five years. That’s a long time to miss something you really, really like. I wish I would have taken a picture of that.
I think for a while those little hair holders represented hope. Those, and the other hair accoutrements, we didn’t even think of why they wouldn’t belong here or why they shouldn’t stay. Her hair dryer, hair curlers, oodles of hair products, hair brushes, hair holders…. All those things went from holding and shaping hair to holding and shaping hope. If there were still hair products here then certainly there would be hair here again one day, right? Hair like it used to be, right?
There’s a whole lot of magic in the moment when we were watching TV upstairs back in early 2007 when she looked over at me while holding in her hand that first little clump of lost hope. In some ways I think we both thought it was interesting or even a little amusing; she and I were always up for an adventure. Soon, however, a little more here and a little more there, more hope was lost.
Each shower we took together was punctuated by a little ball of brown, wet hair stuck to shower wall. My job was to take the little brown ball and dispose of it. Her job was to keep smiling. We both did our jobs. Every single day. Until there wasn’t much hair left. Thankfully for me, she kept smiling, even after the hair was gone.
That was the last we ever saw of her long, beautiful brown hair. It grew back a little bit between various chemical affronts but there was never enough time for it to get very long. She rocked the short hair, of course, and the bald head. That girl couldn’t help but make everything pretty.
I never once told her how much I missed her long brown hair.