“I have no eyelashes or eyebrows. I just feel part dead. Can you help me draw on some eyebrows at least while I go through this chemotherapy?” She continued with eyes downcast.
At a high-end, anchor department store I spotted her wilted self near the makeup triage for Lancôme, Estee Lauder, Channel, and Clinique.
“My eyes keep watering. Must be the Chemo. People think I’m crying, but my eyes keep on watering.”
“Must be the weather,” I smiled. “Let’s fix you up a bit.”
I escorted her to a make up station and whispered in my colleague’s ear, “Please help her. Please, she is in the middle of her chemo treatment.”
“You look beautiful. Your eyebrows match your hair color.”
“Really? I don’t even know what my real hair color is.”
Don’t lose yourself. You are still in there somewhere.
Cancer has no respecter of age, status, or pre-qualifications. This shell of a woman shuffled down as if her bones groaned with weary brittleness. One’s resilience is depleted when it cannot be linked with understanding.
And so it goes… poverty, rejection, incarceration, and loneliness. Sympathetic nods lack a true understanding of agitations, wilted shoulders, isolation, restless sleep, and violently ill nights.
You can love someone incarsarated behind prison walls, but you really cannot enter their daily agitations. Looking through bars only allows a friend into the first layer of the human heart…reaching through steel. God penetrates the soul.
Bonhoeffer pens “There is nothing worse in such times than to try to find a substitute for the irreplaceable.” He sat in a valley of deepest tension waiting a death unknown: “Tossing in expectation of great events, powerlessly trembling for friends at infinite distance, weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, faint and ready to say farewell to it all. Who am I? Thou Knowest , O God, I am thine.”
To this day even the birds do not fly over the darkest place on earth where 1 million people died in camps.
Even when our dearest loses her hair, our mother loses her mind, our child loses a young friend; Dietrich’s last words from a cell were to his parents:
“The last two years have taught me how little we can get along with. But every day thousands are losing all they have, and when we remember that, we know that we have no right to call anything our own.”
God the hair-grower, key-keeper, memory-painter; holds our right hand.