Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bright Moments on a Cold Day

I left the house early, coffee mug in hand, braving the driving rain on the way to my car and an appointment with Jamie, my lovely hairdresser.

The grayness of the day outside only made the cosy salon more welcoming when I arrived. "It's the perfect day to be at the hairdresser," I said to Ivo, the salon owner.

Jamie arrived just after me, and ushered me to her small room upstairs, where the walls, matched the greenish gray of Lake Simcoe across the road.
 
It was good to see my friend again and have the completely self indulgent experience of putting my hair in her hands while we catch up on the past couple of months in our lives.

As I settled into the chair, Jamie said, "I have a story for you," and then slid the decoratively frosted glass door to her room, closed for privacy.

"This is like a little doll's house, so many stories are shared here: heart-rending; silly--and mostly a whole lot of laughter," she said.

She began her story by telling me about a friend whom she has never met face to face. They met through a dating website but for one reason and another, their only relationship has been through text message. Even so they've become good friends.

He moved to Barrie to support his mother who has cancer and she has been losing the battle. This week she moved into a hospice. and his two little daughters who live with their mother in another city, were brought by their other grandparents to say goodbye to their grandma.

He comes to Jamie's mind several times a day. She hasn't lost her mother, but she lost a grandmother who was like a mother. She thought about how this must feel--losing his mother--and she mentioned in one of her texts that she had added him to her prayers. She was surprised when he texted back how deeply that touched him.

Jamie's own road has had some rocky patches lately and she said that one day this week as she stepped into the shower she was just about to drift into the "Poor Me's" when this friend's situation came to mind, and she thought, "It might be tough but it's not 'that.' It could have been 'that,' and I'm so grateful it's not." Her own problems seemed suddenly much smaller in comparison.

I thought of what's been going on with me lately--the determination to live wholeheartedly and with gratitude and how that has changed my experience in the moment. Remembering the load some people have to carry as Jamie did, is a good discipline.

I stepped back out into the wintry day, with great hair; a story; and a grateful heart; ready to start a new Whole Hearted Week.

Proverbs 4:23
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
23 Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know for myself that when going through the deep waters - death, illness, loss - remembering others who are worse off did not help me too much. It is all relevant. BUT, being thankful for what I did have rather than focusing on what I did not - that helped. Some days, when you are sitting on the bottom of the deep dark cavern, thinking that others are in a cavern is not helpful, but being thankful that it is not full of water, or that someone knows I am there, or hearing a bird sing way above me - that helped immensely. What a beautiful capacity for empathy and love your hairdresser has - for an acquaintance. Being with her must be a treat in more ways than one

Belinda Burston said...

I agree Anon. I was thinking of other more surface grumblings-about what felt like a long stream of long days. My attitude adjustment was helped along by thinking that I have a job I love and would apply for in a heartbeat if I saw it advertised--and thinking that in comparison with so many others whose life circumstances have serious problems, this was nothing. It doesn't work with the kind of grief you describe. I didn't mean to minimize those types of loss. And yes, my hairdresser is a gem of a human being. I love her dearly and it is a bonus that she works magic when she gets her hands on hair! :)