Yesterday while I was at work, I had a haircut come in. I’ve done her hair for years now. She’s 86 years old and lives on her own. I think of her as family, after all of these years. I think of her like I think of my own grandmother. Being a hairstylist means making lasting connections. It means being a part of people’s lives. We go through so much with them during their lives, some things happy, other things sad. But one things for sure, some of my clients I love. I mean it’s true, we develop an intimate bond over the years and become somewhat attached to one another. It’s like I get 2 families, my family, family and my work family.
Well yesterday my friend told me it was going to be the last time that I get to cut her hair. She had decided it was time to move, and she was going to get a house at the nursing home. Of course at first I was flabbergasted, I didn’t see this coming. I let it sink in a little before I started asking questions. I asked her if this was what she wanted, and she said yes, she felt it was time. I looked at this strong woman and I felt her pain. You see I’m a mother and a grandmother, so I can empathize with her. I can understand where she’s coming from. I can also understand how hard it must be to make that decision. The decision to change your life, so other people don’t have to choose for you. The decision to sell your home and move closer to people, and help if you should need it.
I was totally present yesterday, yet fully emersed in sadness. I look forward to her visits and her phone calls. I love it when she comes into visit me. She’s unique, and original, quirky, and kind. She’s strong and independent and she’s all together amazing to me.
Yesterday we talked about things we’ve never discussed. She told me she wanted to be cremated, and I told her we had to put my cat to sleep last week. I then asked her if she was excited to get heaven and see her husband again. She said she wasn’t sure who she was going to see. I told her that the people she loved would be there waiting. She asked me what my kitty’s name was so she could tell her hello for me! (Tears, followed by more tears, which broke down into more tears).
Was I really discussing death with my friend? Not just any death, but perhaps her death. It seemed so awkward and weird, but awesome and amazing at the same time. This lady shows true courage, and strength. In that moment I a new found respect for her, and my heart was silently breaking at the same time. I told her I would come do her hair at her new house, but she didn’t want it to be an inconvenience. I tried to reason with her, and tell her it was no big deal, I wanted to be able to spend more time with her. But she said no, however she did say I could come and visit, so I will have to take her up on that.
Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, I am a better person for knowing her. I am sad, but I am happy for her at the same time. She’s always been a little firecracker and why should this be any different. The hardest part is going to be downsizing, she told me so. Deciding what she has to get rid of, and what she can hold onto. I just hopes she knows that in my heart I will always hold a little piece of her.