In The Blink of an Eye
Life can change dramatically in the time it takes your haircut to grow out
It’s cliche to say life can change in the blink of an eye. We’ve all seen it. Here today, gone tomorrow.
I watched a life slip away in the time it took a haircut to grow out. It was staggering.
I went to my hairstylist for a haircut between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019. I have known her since around 2000 when she worked in the chair next to the stylist I used to see who died from cancer in 2004.
A friend called in January, 2020, to tell me our hairdresser had stage 4 lung cancer and spine cancer. She was in her early 50’s. I expected a long, ugly treatment and fight as I’ve often seen.
But in actuality, it sounded dire. I couldn’t believe her life had changed so dramatically in such a short time.
I kept in touch with the mutual friend about her progress. She went for chemo in the hospital. Here we go, I thought. I’ve seen this horror movie before.
By the end of January, I needed another haircut. I went to the same salon and saw another hairstylist. The mood was foreboding. The stylist who was sick had been the manager.
The owner of the place has known me since the early 2000’s when I saw the other hairdresser who passed away. She sat at the reception desk as usual. I asked her what news she had. She said she was getting treatment and was going to get better. I have also seen this scenario play out in other cases so you never know.
On February 10, 2020, my friend called to tell me our hairdresser had been put on hospice care on the 7th, and she was not going to make it. She said the entire staff of the hair salon was visiting her that evening so she was going to go the following night.
I texted my friend the next day asking if she wanted to meet me at the hospital that night.
In the interim, I looked at Facebook and saw that it was too late. She had died on the morning of February 11th.
I’ve had intimate, firsthand knowledge about the uncertainty of life. I went to bed on February 13, 1999 when I was 35 years old and expecting my second child. When I woke up on Valentine’s Day that year, I was rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery. A congenital defect in my brain had ruptured during the night with no warning.
There is no way to know when life will strike us with shattering health issues.
They happen in the blink of an eye or while our hair is growing. All we can do to prepare is live our lives with gratitude for our good health and love for those around us.