In which our Lady grays.
Despite all my efforts, things have gotten away from me. I have practiced careful planning and goal-setting. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in a spare minute is to take a piece of paper and a pen and set down the way I want things to happen. I do this for daily tasks, a to-do list for mundane things like the dishes and laundry. I do it for monthly, or quarterly goals, fixing a firm image of the finished result in my mind. I’ll even do it for very long periods of time, though I admit that these goals often have the character of dreams and hopes because of course I don’t know what the future will bring. For instance, two years ago I began to feel that my health was slipping and I soon found myself exploring different ways of eating. I had begun to grind my own wheat berries into flour, experimenting with home-made breads, pastas, and flat-breads the spring and summer before that fateful August day, only to ultimately find out that I had started too late. Over the past months I have worked desperately hard to be healthy and to make positive lifestyle changes. I made hopeful goals of living a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. I wrote on paper that I wanted to quit feeling so old and to extend my youthfulness, as it were, with better health. And yet, despite all this effort and goal-oriented, positive thinking, I found a gray hair.
Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve found them before, 4 or 5 sprinkled about behind my bangs—but this one was in my eyebrow! It is one think to add a few “highlights” to the top of my head, but this curiously light hair near the place where my nose meets my forehead is an entirely different matter. I keep remembering my grandmother’s gray eyebrows. The hairs became coarse and curled their long tips messily out from her face. The hairs were merciless in the face of assorted beauty products. I am in grave danger of this phenomenon as I already sport a lot of coarse, long, barely controlled, black brows. As of now, this first little gray intruder is soft and small, but I fear for the future. I am afraid to just pluck the thing out and get rid of it because for all I know, I could face a too-soon future of appreciating its delicacy and good manners as it lies sedately against my skin alongside a slew of gray springing half an inch out of my face!
Dramatic? Maybe. But I am genuinely vexed that I have started all this healthiness stuff too late. There’s a good chance I was going to be going gray by now even without the cancer, but apparently my body just can’t fight two battles at one time, and my gray hairs are telling me that I’m going down, down, down into a pit of gray despair. Weep for me, friends.