Over on Facebook, in a somewhat unrelated topic, I mentioned that Kelly Pickler was in the news recently because she shaved her head in support of a friend with cancer.
I remember many, many years ago, when kids would have cancer and begin treatments, it was the thing to do for their classmates to shave their heads in support of their friend. And at the time it was cool because it was heartfelt and brought a sense of not-so-alone-ness to the person going through it.
But now EVERYbody is “shaving the head in support of …” and it feels more like a cliché, just like the ribbons and other things people do to show their support.
And, of course, now not every form of cancer treatment, and not every every type of chemo, causes the hair to fall out. It is not fun when it happens, of course, and there is no way I want to minimize what they are going through. And, I suppose it is still cool when people shave their heads for someone whom they actually know and care about.
I still wear my “Fuck Leukemia” t-shirt even though my son-in-law is now almost 2 years out and is doing just fine. And his hair didn’t all fall out at all.
Maybe I’m just getting old and jaded, but a lot of what seemed significant and memorable at the time has become just a cliché — it’s what we do when this or that happens. If someone gets cancer, we shave the head. If someone dies, we knit the surviving spouse a “love blanket” or “prayer shawl” or “comfort wrap”.
Or maybe I’m just getting tired of clichés in general and want to find a truly personal and meaningful way to show support for someone who needs to know they are not alone.