©2009 by Angie Ruark
The other morning I looked in the mirror. What I saw brought a line from a poem to mind by Dylan Thomas: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” I had never even read the entire poem before, I just remembered that line. It has to do with fighting against death and not succumbing or giving up, even when it is inevitable. This noble attitude can now perfectly describe me. I’m not dying but the battle is none the less significant and worthy. This conflict in which I am now engaged is one, like death, we all must face. It takes fortitude, stamina, and wit to continually combat this common enemy. I have joined the countless other brave souls who are currently engaging this relentless foe. “Onward! Onward! Defeat is not an option!” is our battle cry. We will attack from all sides night or day. We will not give up or give in. If one of us does eventually succumb, it will not be without a fight! We will not go gently into that good night!
Ok, so now you are probably wondering what it is I am fighting against. I’ll tell you. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed there was something shiny on the top of my head. It caught the light and sparkled a little when I moved my head. I leaned in closer to get a better look (because I can’t see that far without my glasses on.) What I saw took my breath away. There, in all its lone glory, was a shiny, sparkly, white hair. It stood out so perfectly against the backdrop of my brown hair. I immediately called my husband at work and told him I needed to talk to him right away.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” he asked, with a hint of worry in his voice.
“I have a gray hair on top of my head,” I bemoaned. My husband (who already has some gray) broke into laughter with relief that it wasn’t something actually serious. Except it was! “The date is April 2nd, 2009 and I have my first gray hair,” I complained.
My husband was so sweet, he first wanted to know if it was coming from the side of my head, the back or the top. I told him the top. He clacked away on his keyboard and found some information somewhere that said if it is growing out of the top of the head, then it is not a true gray hair. It could be caused by a clogged follicle. Yes! I latched onto that one immediately! That’s all it was! A clogged follicle! I had been trying to use up a bottle of cheap shampoo, so that must have caused it! Ahhh. What a relief. Except now the vigilance begins. I will be like a sentry on the watch for invading forces. When spotted I will sound the alarm! Then I will run to the store, get a box of hair color, and color my hair.
I’m not going gently! I’m going to fight!