She walked into the hair salon wearing sun glasses, a sleeveless blouse and what women from her era call ‘pedal pushers.’ It is so hot and humid here and we’re just six days into summer!

She was a complete stranger to me, but that lasted only about five minutes.  Harriet is her name and she is what I call a ‘big life.’

I quickly found out her reason for coming-in to see the woman who cuts my hair.

It didn’t take Harriet long to whip-off her wig, show me how her hair is beginning to grow back, even though she is only half way finished with her radiation treatment for breast cancer.  I learned all about her chemo therapy and all the side effects that have caused her fingernails to fall off, her arms to bruise badly and how she’s lost her sense of taste. That doesn’t stop her from eating her favorite chocolate ice cream, because “I know I love it even if I can’t taste it.”

She’s planning to take herself on a little cruise for her 75th birthday soon.  She says she’s earned it and I couldn’t agree more.  Her cancer and its demanding schedule in her life has not stopped Harriet from living.  She’s the best example of living with cancer that I’ve seen in the longest time.

I left her sitting in the chair, dreading the fact that she would have to put her wig back on, especially in this heat.  But it would be styled and make her feel complete.  But only until those thin wisps of curly hair grow-out just a little bit more.

Harriet…a chance meeting of a life force, living with cancer, but in the best way….You go girl!!!


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Al June 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

The Harriets of the world, there are lots of them if we take the time to look and listen, give us hope for the human species. Life’s circumstances and/or disease does not hide their inherent goodness.

You go Harriet and spread your hope and optimism for all to see.


Facing Cancer Together June 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Beautifully narrated – Harriet sounds like a force, and a bright spirit too. :)


Michelle Clough June 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

I love the Harriets’ of the world. I think they are here to remind us, that WE chose how we live with the circumstances given to us. I am going to crank up my positive attitude in her honor today.


Kathie Scott June 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

What an incredible piece of luck you had today!


Nan Holmes June 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Harriet sounds like my kind of person as she does some serious lifting.


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