I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write today. I had more severe nausea last night and today I was exhausted. I woke up in time to make it to my appointment for the injection, came home and napped after some ramen noodle, and woke up around five refreshed and feeling like a brand new person.
When I had the idea for “12 Wigs of Christmas,” I didn’t have twelve wigs. I didn’t know if Jim would be up for it, although I suspected he might. His mantra when it comes to me, as a general rule and magnified during this time, is “whatever you want.” That is a gift I never take for granted. So when I suggested this project, I knew I was asking a lot. I knew that it would be time-consuming. I also knew that it could help us turn a traumatic time into something joyful and healing.
Even so, I had no idea how much it would help.
Inhabiting different characters has been a way to step out of our current reality. Except, these characters are part of us. Releasing them with silly poses has given me an escape. I’ve felt confident – most of the time. I’m seeing myself in a different light. I often hide behind the camera. Maybe I should step out in front. Because I’ve realized that how I perceive my image is less about how I actually look and more about how I feel.
I’m also seeing Jim in a different light. His willingness to not just play along, but to jump right in, is such a testament to his character. Characters? The way people have reacted to him has been a public acknowledgment of everything I know about him. He’s kind, giving, open to challenges, and plain ol’ goofy. He’s hilarious. And I don’t think it could get any more obvious that he loves me, and that I love him.
I’ve been told that this has been inspiring, and I sure hope so. This project isn’t just about making me feel better. When I first mentioned it, Jim asked if it was something I would want to see. Without hesitation, I said yes. Losing my hair – well, I’ve talked about how difficult that is. I wanted to show myself and anyone else that it’s possible to still have fun, and to find joy in a really frightening time.
As soon as I saw today’s wig in the bag o’ goodies Meryl loaned me, I knew this would make its appearance on the last day. I knew what dress I would wear, and I knew I’d break out my fluffy white coat that I’ve had for thirty-two years. The boa, too. I wanted to fairly scream self-confidence, fearlessness, and a big touch of bold. Yesterday was my last treatment in the dreaded initial round. Now I’ve got nearly three weeks before I start twelve weeks. This one is supposed to be so much more tolerable that I’ve been given leave to lead a writing workshop in Gulf Shores, Alabama, at the beginning of March.
That is something to celebrate!
Where do we go from here? Calendars have been suggested. So has a journal. I’ll keep writing, because this isn’t done yet. Many have expressed hope that I’ll turn this all into a book. I probably will, and if I do, I won’t be doing much editing. I’ve written everything from deep inside not only because it’s personally cathartic, but also because I hope it will help anyone else dealing with a big upheaval.
Thank you to everyone who’s followed along, who’s laughed, loved, commented, and generally supported us. Seeing your reactions has been a bright spot every day, and it’s kept us smiling.
Thank you for the joy!