I have been ignoring them. I remember the first time I noticed, I think my brain just blocked it out. Besides, I had bigger problems back then. My life was filled with appointments and tests and praying and Facebook arguments – that was my outlet. Every time I looked in the mirror it was a reminder of how much time I had lost. Time to fall in love, time to have children, time to travel, time to build a career that I loved.
Hair is the least important organ of the body but very resilient. It receives the last of the body’s nutrients and it will continue to grow after death. Among the many unwelcome rites of passage into middle age is the turning of hair color to gray. My hair began to turn gray towards the end of a long battle for my life. After eight years of intense struggle with the autoimmune disease scleroderma I was diagnosed with the immune system cancer, hodgkin’s lymphoma. The past ten years has been marked with six months in the hospital, death, resurrection, nursing home, real home, then the slow journey on the road to remission and recovery.
Like the hair on my head I am strong and I am resilient and I am transformed. I no longer ignore my grays because I no longer long for the past or wonder what might have been. The four gray hairs I see in my hairline represent what I have overcome and remind me that I have much to look forward to. They no longer represent loss, they are evidence of promise.