There is a teenage girl in our neighbourhood with a beautiful head of hair. Her hair is thick, shiny and healthy looking. Every time I see that hair my heart feels so glad.
The girl in question is T. Over a period of roughly a year in 2005/2006, T lost nearly all of her hair through alopecia. Last year she came and homeschooled with Rox. It was the year she would have started high school and to start at a new school, where they wear a uniform, being the only girl wearing a bandana would have been very difficult for her. Rox and I were only too happy to have her in our “school” because T is a sweetie pie. Through being with T every day Rox and I learnt so much, I’d like to share a little of what we learnt with you.
We learnt about alopecia, a condition about which we knew very little. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own hair follicles. There is a very good description of the disease and its cause here
We learnt that our society puts way too much emphasis on outward appearance. We’ve always known this to a degree, but going through this experience with T brought it home to us in such a vivid way. T is a beautiful girl, both outwardly and inwardly. As her alopecia progressed, if anything, she grew inwardly more beautiful and yet she was subject to stares from the general public and going out became very difficult for her.
We learnt about faith. T is a devout Christian and throughout her ordeal she believed that God was doing this to her for a reason and that in His time she would be cured. We were and still are, humbled by her faith.
We learnt to look for the positive in the negative. T was unfailingly glad that through her experience others were learning about hair loss. She also made her bandanas and baseball caps a fashion statement!
We learnt that you don’t have to be an adult to be wise. T showed wisdom and courage way beyond her years during this time.
I will obviously never be glad that this happened to T, but I am glad for the lessons my daughters and I and even T herself, learnt through her experience. And I am SO glad that she sports a beautiful head of hair today.
This post is my contribution for this weeks Sunday Scribblings
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