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Locks of Love

Sunday, March 06, 2011

March 5th, 2011. I started this day with a big agenda. It started at the car dealership where I paid off the car, I own it! But that's not why I'm writing.

I have always wanted to give back in memory of Stephanie. I hid behind the pain, the anger and mostly the longing for my daughter, thinking standing still would help keep her memory alive. I started growing my hair out as a rebellious act in December of 2006. It served to perpetuate me shutting out the world. The ultimate anti-social act, look unapproachable, become unapproachable. I had actually started the process in 2004 and cut off that growth to get a promotion at work.

Growing it out was something I had always wanted to do, what Metalhead doesn't? I didn't have a hair cut until March of 2010, again an employer, however, by this time I had made the decision to donate it, or so I told the employer. I trimmed it so I could hide the length under my hat and 'look' professional, not that my training/lack of made me a professional, but because of how others may perceive me and the company. Then June happened. I had found someone to whom I could openly share stories of Stephanie, we'd met in March. This began a healing process I wasn't aware of at the time. I was becoming ready to accept Stephanie's death and didn't even know it. I'm not all that surprised though, 2010 was shaping up as a very accidental transitional year and by accidental, it's not like I had a conversation with myself and said lets step down from your job, take one you have zero training for and see if that will help you rediscover life. Although, that's exactly what it did.

I had really begun to think about a date, it would be symbolic, this was August. Fall came and went, December, January. I was really starting to lean to May, her birthday, she'd have been 21 this year. Again my growth came into play, I began to tire of the length, the care and the look, I had an appointment in late February, I was going to trim it one last time, then a medical emergency in my stylists family got that appointment canceled. When she call this past week and wanted it on Saturday, the fifth of March. While not the fifth of May, I got enough symbolism to know my angel was ready to see the smiles my act of love would create.

I got myself mentally ready, off I went. Melani, my stylist, is a family friend who knew Stephanie and one of the most compassionate people I know. It helped I was on an emotional high from paying off the car. Mom came out to capture it for all to see. Thirty minutes of cutting and reflection, it was done.

There is no feeling better than giving of yourself in a manner without possibility of ever seeing how your act reaches it's destination. I will do this again and again and again. I am a lean, nicer, hair growing machine. One child smiling. If you hair is long, donate it, if it's short, grow it out and donate it. Giving up any vanity makes it all worthwhile. Feel free to jump on over to my gallery and glance at my experience.

I am becoming this man with the help of my friends, my spark friends. Seven months and one day after joining this site, I gave in my daughter's memory, sparkpeople is part of how I did. The support and encouragement is so unconditional. Thank you.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is such a powerful entry, so much inspiration and wonder in your story.

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

    2573 days ago
    Wonderful! What a wonderful, unselfish thing to do. So glad that your SparkFamily of Friends are helping you through some very tough times.
    I am so sorry about your loss of someone so much a part of you.
    I know healing takes a very long time, and keeping memories alive is so very important.
    Now, Just imagine how happy you are making some small child.
    2574 days ago
    Here's a tribute to you, Ray. It's not just locks of love, it's LOTS of love!

    BTW, I really like the new look!
    2574 days ago
    What a wonderful, inspiring story. So glad to hear you are healing and giving. God bless you!!

    2574 days ago
    I am happy you are finding your peace.
    2574 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    You are truly a pillar of hope and inspiration not only to me, but to those who are lucky enough to know you. Your angel is definitely smiling down with the biggest grin of approval, pride, and love. You are amazing! I, or should I say WE, couldn't be more proud! emoticon
    2574 days ago
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    yes to all the above. I too have given. I'm the only one in my family to do that. I am a Cancer Survivor and had a Dad who passed away from it. There are guidelines for those they give to. You can get your hair cut but it can't be grey or colored. I felt so special and also because it was curly and I know there aren't too many curly headed people out there. Hope
    2575 days ago
    what a wonderful story. may you continue to heal and grow.
    2575 days ago
  • COOP9002
    May God you an outpouring of His Grace and love today and in the days ahead.
    2575 days ago
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