Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I don't like "meant to be"s...

...but I can't help feeling like I was meant to be where I was on Saturday evening. I went to a natural hair meetup cohosted by my girl @HGKWW and saw a young-ish Black woman rocking a low fade. I made a note of her and how she pulled the style off with elegance--since my mom called me crying after she cut all her hair off after it began falling out in clumps, I've been making a mental note of bald/near bald Black women that I see out and about, so I can say with honesty that that look is in right now when I talk with her about it.

About an hour later, before a giveaway, this woman starts speaking and handing out flyers. Her name is Andrene Taylor. She is thirty three years old and has beaten lymphoma three times already. She's currently preparing for a triathlon and serving as the President of an amazing Foundation called ZuriWorks, whose purpose is to raise cancer awareness in Black female communities. And even more, she is hosting an event this coming weekend called It'll Grow Back! Loving your Hair with Natural Care, which along with dealing out knowledge and tips for naturals generally, will feature discussion about the pros and cons of wearing wigs post-chemo, when hair starts growing back, how the hair that grows back differs from the hair you had before, and how hair and healing are connected mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. 

Here, in a place hundreds of miles from home, at an event co-hosted by a friend I made at a school I had a 9% chance of getting into, which I learned about via a website that I stumbled upon when lamenting the fact that I didn't know how to make friends in the real world, I found just what my mother needs. My eyes started welling up just as I was listening to her talk, and I waited patiently while she had another conversation later in the evening just so that I could speak with her, shake her hand, and tell her that she is an inspiration. 

I want so badly for my mom to come down to go to the event on Sunday, but she has decided against it because it's a lot of travelling for her to do by herself. My Nana offered to drive her, but she's already driving her to Philly for her appointment with her oncologist on Friday and to Dover and back twice the following Thursday to move my sister in to school, so she didn't want to put that on her too. I understand all of that, but I'm still disappointed. This would be so good for her. I might go anyway just so I can pass on the knowledge. 

Though I am never anything but the picture of optimism to my mother, I feel safe enough here to say that meeting someone who has been through this again and again and is THRIVING did wonders for me. I want her to know that her very existence is helping. I want to help her help other people. I very nearly want to *thank* someone for the peculiar series of events that led to us meeting on Saturday, because few other introductions have every felt so wholly right. 

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