When I was 6 years old my family moved to a new town. The first person I met would become my best friend. I can still remember that day very clearly. She came running down the hill next to my new house and slammed into my back. “Hi! My name is Beverly! What’s yours?”
Bev lived across the street from me. We spent the years going back and forth between our houses. Sleepovers, picnics, talking on the phone, sitting on the stone wall in front of her house or the stone steps by my driveway and just chatting about anything and everything.
Then we grew up. I left to go to college. I got engaged and then married. We lived different lives. However, through everything we always knew that the other would always be there. No matter what we could depend on each other when we really needed it.
Then one night I got a phone call. “Andrea, I need you to sit down. (pause) Are you sitting? I really need you to sit.”
When someone tells you to sit down you know nothing good is going to be said. Fear and dread filled me as I assured her I was sitting.
“I have Leukemia.”
It is like a rock being dropped into the pit of your stomach. We talked about how strong she is and how she would beat it. We talked about how she needed everyone around her to be strong for her. Life went on.
Then in September 2001 her body stopped fighting. She lost the fight against the disease. She fought hard. She didn’t let Leukemia take her easily.
My husband is the one who got the phone call. He is the one who had to tell me that the girl I had been friends with for over 17 years was gone. I was heart broken….it has been 13 years and I am still heart broken. I miss her more than anything.
She made a huge impact on me. I can’t talk about my childhood without her name coming up. I even gave Princess the same middle name as Bev. I promised Bev I wouldn’t let Leukemia take away her spirit; that she would live.
I cut my hair; my long, curly hair. I did it in front of my entire church. I donated it to a charitable organization that makes wigs for cancer patients. “Hey cancer! You may take away, but I am giving back!” Maybe it isn’t a lot but it helps. It will help someone. Maybe the person who wears my hair will beat cancer. I sure hope so.
I know I must have pictures somewhere but I can’t find them.
Fast forward many years (7? I can’t remember). Sweet, sweet Elf’s hair reached her waist. “Mommy, I am ready to cut my hair and send it to kids who need it. I want to donate it just like you did Mommy.”
Oh this girl is simply awesome.
This fall Elf got a whole lotta hair cut off. An entire 12 inches to be exact. One glorious foot of thick, shiny hair. It is being sent to Children With Hair Loss. We picked them because all applicants get their hair pieces for free. I like that. I think Bev would also.