Locks of Love

I've previously mentioned (& posted pictures) that my daughter Hayley has red hair. She gets that from me (I suppose I could also mention that her dad has cousins on his side with red hair, but since she came right from me, I'll take the credit, thank you!) My parents both had dark brown hair but all 4 of us kids had red. My 2 brothers have strawberry blonde hair with blue eyes and my sister and I had the darker, more red hair with brown eyes. I say had because unfortunately, I lost my sister to cancer a year and a half ago. I miss her terribly. I don't normally talk about her because even still just mentioning her name, it makes me cry. At least typing this I can cry in the privacy of my own home. She was a great "big sister", she could do anything. And I mean anything. She could sew curtains to building a car from scratch. Not even kidding. Even though I was more the domestically engineered type, she was the mechanically engineered type. I loved baking, she loved building. Despite our differences, we never had a problem spending time together. This is a photo of us kids (with child rank) 5 months into her cancer diagnosis. She had not lost any hair yet as she started on a pill form of chemo but she had already lost lots of weight and was not the strong, robust Robin that we all knew. 

Jeff (#2), Ryan (#4), Jill (#3) & Robin (#1)
When we bought our house 8 years ago, it was a 3 bedroom home but had a large 3 season porch at the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms. Robin converted that into a master bedroom for us, doing all the work herself after work and weekends, with the occasional help of my hubby. We liked the thought of having the parents room on the opposite end from the kids. Being in my bedroom knowing it was her handiwork all around me sometimes makes me feel comforted like she's there with me, sometimes it makes me miss her all the more. 

On Wednesday nights we used to watch Hot In Cleveland and Happily Divorced together - remotely, and text each other about the funny parts. After she died, it took me a while before I could watch either show. I've recently started back up again and the first few times I did, it was hard. 

Every month for over a year I would take her to her appointment to have her nephrostomy tubes changed at a hospital 45 minutes away. I must admit sometimes I did this begrudgingly, as it was an emotionally exhausting day for me. I'd come home just drained, with a major headache. And then I'd feel guilty because I knew how she felt. She did so much for me during our lifetime together, that if this is what I could do for her, then I did it and I knew she appreciated it. She was deathly afraid of needles which didn't help. She only liked a few of the people there so if she got someone she didn't like, she was in a foul mood. I hate crying and try to avoid it at all costs, and usually only cry if I'm reeeally mad & then it makes me more mad that I'm crying. No matter how much she cried or anyone around me cried, I never did. I always stayed strong for her and I guess you could say I didn't cry in front of her until the day she died, right when she was gone. Now it seems,  I can't turn it off which is a whole new concept for me, my hubby and my kids.

Like me, she wasn't one for pictures ... but at one of her appointments I told her I was taking one and she better smile. At least she wasn't flipping me off which was more typical of her than a fake smile LOL.

This was at an appointment a month before Robin died. It was getting harder at the end to take her alone because she had to use a wheelchair and it helped to have someone with me. Hayley would go with me so this was a picture of us waiting for Robin to come back to the room. Apparently no one likes to have their picture taken in a hospital. :)

I still have so much more I could say about my sister but this has taken me quite a while to compose in between all the tears. This is the most I've really talked about it so for me, it's a step in the healing process. Thanks for listening.

But the point of this post was really about how my daughter did something that her aunt Robin would be very proud of, as well as we are. Back to the hair subject....it's very long and very thick. She really does get the thick part from me. Both of us have enough hair on our head for 3 people.  She's been growing it for quite some time and decided on a goal to donate 10" to Locks of Love. So this past weekend she took the plunge... had it cut off.

This was the before...

This was the during....

this was measuring the 10" donation minimum. Hayley said to add another inch
Making the first cut.....
There it is!

still plenty left!

support from her bestie, Lauren

the donation "locks"
 And the "after"....

Robin was always proud of my kids. Even though she's gone, every time they do something I know she is smiling and still proud of them. For whatever reason the person who gets to benefit from Hayley's donation, I wish them the best!

I'm hoping with 11" less of hair, that's less I have to clean out of the bathroom drain. And less shampoo. And less conditioner. And less hair in the vacuum cleaner. She sheds worse than any dog. But I love her! :)