From the time I was 14 until May of 2014, I had long hair, nearly to my waist. It was my signature, the way I described myself to people who had not seen me: "small, round, pink, long hair." In May 2014, just before I started chemotherapy, I had my hair cut short. (I had it cut three more times. The last time it was about an inch long all over.) I saved the hair is a silk bag and I put my many (many!) hairpins and ornaments in two boxes at the very back of my closet.
About six months ago I pulled out a few barrettes that I thought I might be able to wear now. A few silk scrunchies. A clip or two. That was ok. I could cope. I could use them.
Today my hair reaches my shoulders. Growing my hair back is a mission, a goal, a deep-seated desire. It is the only part of my pre-cancer life that I can actually get back. Everything else has changed. Everything.
I tried going back in that box at the back of my closet this afternoon. I took out a few more hair ornaments and then I had to stop. I was so shaken by this. All those pretty things were part of a life I can barely imagine any more.
But. However. I am going to reclaim each of those pins and barrettes and clips. Those I can get back. And I will. An awful lot is lost, but some things can be found again.