Saturday, January 13, 2007

How I miss my red hair

My deafness I endure
To dentures I’m resigned
Bifocals I can manage
But God, how I miss my mind.

I am not yet deaf. I still have all my original teeth minus one. I have worn glasses since the age of eleven and was prescribed bifocals in my early twenties. My ability to recall is not as sharp as it once was but I am still able to function in a job and live independently. I think what I miss the most is my red hair. I had thick, long, coppery colored red hair. I enjoyed having the color of hair that is least common. There are lots of blonds and brunettes but not that many redheads. All the colors I prefer to wear are the colors that complement red hair. Colors that do not usually look good on me now.

As I grew older my hair darkened and the red faded. For a few years I used a color rinse that maintained the original color but somewhere along the way I became allergic to products that color your hair. My hair has begun to turn grey around my face but it remains a very nondescript color in back and horror of horrors, my hair is thinning and I have the balding pattern that runs in our family. I have also developed cowlicks and styling my hair is no longer possible. Long hair is a thing of the past. I now wear it very short.

My mother’s hair, originally brunette, turned a beautiful white and she never had to use a color rinse to enhance it. It had a natural wave and softly framed her face. I wish that my hair would turn white like hers but it isn’t.

I sometimes wonder what purpose or lesson God has in mind for us in being subjected to the indignities and losses that most of us experience as we grow older? Many of them are too embarrassing to even talk about. Many are silly, like losing your hair, or the color of your hair, and some are very serious. It almost feels like adding insult to injury. And I know that God would do neither.

Approaching the end of one’s life is difficult enough without all the indignities that we joke about because it’s the only way we can handle the humiliation.

On the bright side I have a granddaughter who inherited my red hair, just as I inherited mine from my grandmother, and she is named after me! When I think about her I don’t miss the loss of my red hair so much.


  1. This is Sarah, attempting to check out how comments are left!

  2. Hello Sarah,
    You know me. I am at "church" this Sunday morning in my studio.
    I just wrote then mangaged to delete a somewhat lengthy appreciation of your blog reflections and insights. Aging is nothing to sneeze at. We are certainly marginalized in this society and must deal with personal and social indignities without appearing to lose our sense of humor. There is marvelous liberation as well. So the discussion is most welcome. I'll continue to read your entries and offer support in any way I can.

  3. It's The Great White Shank here, testing out your anonymous comments - Hello!

  4. My father in law, who recently passed away, had red hair that gradually faded to dark brown. I always was amazed that his hair had not gone grey and used to think he dyed it!! I think you're lucky to not have gone grey. My son has inherited his grandfather's red hair, but because of teasing at school, has dyed it brown, which is so sad.
    By the way, I see you worked as an addictions counselor-this is the job I'm aiming towards on completion of my degree course.
    Thanks for reading my ramblings!!