Monday, August 9, 2010

Through Her Pain She Taught

Last September we lost my mother-in-law to cancer. It was very aggressive and we only knew she had cancer for almost 6 months prior to her death. Her death has impacted us all! There isn't a day that my sweet 5 year old doesn't talk about her. Zoe was only 4 at the time and full of questions. Due to Kim's treatments her hair had fallen out. Zoe and Kim had a long talk about cancer patients losing their hair. Zoe was stunned to find out that children loose their hair too. You could see it in her face. Grandma Kim explained to her that some people grow their hair and when it gets long enough they cut it and donate it to people who make wigs. Now if you know Zoe you know her hair is everything to her!!! She is always twirling it, combing her fingers though it, or picking out some hair piece to put in it. Zoe just couldn't imagine not having hair to do all of those thing.

From time to time Zoe would mention how sad it is that little girls with cancer don't have hair. One day last spring during one of these conversations I brought up the idea of her donating her hair. Zoe was interested so we did some research on the internet and calling our hair stylist, Kathy. Kathy explained how many inches that would be needed for a wig. Zoe ran and got a ruler. When she returned I measured and showed her how much hair would be cut off. "NO!" Zoe shouted. "I can't cut my hair that short." We decided that Zoe wouldn't get another hair cut until it was time to start school. Maybe just maybe by then she would be comfortable with the length. Every once in a while Zoe would bring the ruler to me and ask for her hair to be measured. You could see the amount need to be cut made her nervous. I would hand back the ruler without a word and she would slowly walk away. Soon enough Zoe didn't look so nervous and she would walk away with her head high. I knew my baby girl was growing up before my very eyes.

Soon Zoe said, "Mom will you call Kathy I'm ready to get my hair cut." Well of course my heart broke and filled with joy at the same time. This was a moment I was waiting for. I was so proud but sad. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. I called and wouldn't you know it.... someone had canceled! I told Zoe, "Kathy will cut your hair today." Zoe just beamed, "TODAY!"
We arrived and had the normal small talk with Kathy until it was Zoe's turn to jump in the chair. Kathy spins Zoe around and says. "what are we doing today." I mentioned about doing the donation. Kathy decide to measure one more time to make sure Zoe was ready. We gave her all sorts of chances to change her mind. Not that we wanted her to but I think both Kathy and I wanted her to make sure this was her decision. Zoe was pumped up and ready for those scissors to come out! She didn't hesitate one bit, "YES!" Kathy started cutting and Zoe started smiling. At one point Zoe was tell us what she was going to tell her friends about her hair and how it was going to be a wig for another girl.
Kathy would carefully lay out the hair to be bundled as she told Zoe how happy the little girl would be when she received the wig. Zoe never looked back! She was so excited to run her fingers though it and Kathy told her it might grown even faster because of most of Zoe's hair was adult hair now. On our way home Zoe talked about this little girl who would receive a beautiful wig and how excited she will be to have hair again. Cue the tears! My heart warmed just thinking of a how happy they both are/will be. Zoe got quite and says, "Mommy do you think Grandma Kim is excited too." "Of course she is Zoe and so am I."

Ladies I can not express how proud I am today! Some days as a parent you don't think your doing it "right" and then they surprise you. I don't think Zoe really understands how much her donation will impact the child that receives her hair. We will be praying for the child and all the other children waiting to receive their own wig.

Dear Lord! Thank You for this beautiful day that I will treasure forever. Thank you for blessing me with a daughter with such a big heart. Please watch over the children and adults that are going though cancer treatments. Please bless them with happy days no matter what plan You have for them!
And Thank You so much for my Mother-in-law Kim.

Through her pain she taught!



  1. Wasn't able to get through that post with a dry eye! Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming story.

  2. You have done it right, Shannon, and Zoe is an awesome child! You are blessed in so many ways!

  3. Praise God for working in Zoe's heart!

  4. i love that Fred!!!! tears....