Cancer, conflict and hair products.

My sister-in-law has leukemia.  She was diagnosed just 3 months ago.  It has shaken our family.  I am so proud of how my brother, Scott and his wife, Megan have handled this.  I went out and stayed a month.  It changed me in ways that I just don’t even know yet.  Beyond giving their family support, I learned more about myself.  Appreciation for health and life is always good, unfortunately that renewed appreciation comes at the expense of a diagnosis of Cancer.

As life would have it, just 3 weeks before the diagnosis my brother and his wife, daughter 7, sons 4 & 1 all met at the farm in South Dakota.  My brother also has older children, all 3 came to the farm, my daughter also joined us.  In the hulla-balou that is large families we had a day where grandma and my daughter had hair appointments.  Megan stopped in to get her eyebrows waxed at the beauty salon.  I was absorbed in the beauty and gossip magazines, but I did notice a few things.

When Megan came to the salon, she had been at the pool with her family.  She was slighty windblown and looked tired.  I remember thinking how pretty she was and that my brother was fortunate, because she really is a sweet person.  When she left she climbed into my brothers pride and joy, his big truck.  Such a petite woman for the big truck, but I remember thinking how Megan is only small in stature.  I thought she looked beautiful as I watched her drive away.

Now her beauty is different.  She has big brown eyes that peek out from her cute hats.  She is frequently wearing her UGG boots and they cause a little shuffle noise when she walks.  She’s still generous in nature.  She’s given me hair products, makeup and space in her home to help take care of her and the kids.

The title of this blog includes hair products.  When I use my gifts from Megan, a few slightly used products of “root blast” or “super shine”, it goes much deeper.  I think about her and imagine how life that was “just going along”.  She dismissed symptoms of night sweats, mouth sores, fatigue, the terrible headaches.  There was no dismissing the diagnosis on August 25, 2010.  There was no dismissing the admission to the hospital.  No dismissing the chemotherapy that started 48 hours later.

The blog title includes conflict.  Conflict is a part of relationships.  How we respond to conflict is a skill we can develop.  Some people develop the skill at being “good” at conflict.  Fighting is all they know.  Some people can develop skills that they allow conflict and respond by making things better than worse.  Conflict comes from within and we have to deal with how we see the world and experience frustrations and anger with others.  Conflict comes from outside and when people address us negatively or values of “mine” don’t match “yours”.

I’ve worked through some conflict recently because I can see from a life that was “just going along” how precious we all really are.  I can see that being angry is a waste of time.  I use some hair products from someone without hair and it makes me humble.  Being humble resolves conflict.  Being humble is not backing down, being humble is remembering the bigger picture in life and honoring what is really important.

 I thought sharing this might offer you a perspective as well.