I didn’t have a lot of spare time this last weekend, but what little time I could eek out I spent with Jackie! She is having her big surgery on July 28th and these were my last face to face moments with her before Dr. McDreamy performs his magic. The fact that she carved out time to be with me when there are tons of people who want to see her made me feel really special. I love our goofy time, when we call each other Pumpkin Pants and Cuddle Kitten and make silly faces and everything is as it should be.
After BlogCamp ended, our friend Bella picked Mike and me up at our hotel and drove us down to Jackie!’s parents’ house about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. Jackie!’s hair cutting party was being held there, and there was NO WAY we were going to miss it. I rescheduled and rerouted our flight to leave later, and from a different airport. I had to be there for her – and Mike had to shave his head.
The party was PACKED. SO MANY people wanted to be there for Jackie that my heart was in my throat from the moment we arrived. Of course, it helped when we walked into the back yard and we were greeted with “HEELLLOOOOOOO SPOOOOOOOOOHRS !” from, of course, Jackie! herself. Nothing was going to keep her from having fun, so I had to join in. I’d brought Jackie! my extensive wig collection, so we decided to bust out the crown jewel .
Almost every guy at the party shaved or buzzed his hair. One of her friends shaved the anti-Turk symbol into his hair . Jackie!’s dad, brothers-in-law, boss, coworkers, ex-boyfriends, and college friends went under the electric razor. Even Jackie!’s tiny little nephews got tiny little buzzes . And of course, Mike shaved off his locks as well (and he looks damn fine, in my opinion). I am so, so proud of him.
I am struggling with finding the right words to describe how awesome it felt to be with all the people who love Jackie! and want to support her. And, I know there are many, many more that weren’t able to be at the party who love her, too. You know how when your favorite sports team, or band, or artist, has a huge game/concert/showing and everyone is so pumped and excited to be there, sharing the experience with everyone around them? It was like that, except with a lot more cheering. A LOT.
The thing that just floors me is that Jackie! had this party at all. She didn’t have to cut her hair before the surgery. She could have left it all there, and let the nurses shave off only what was necessary. Sure, it would have left a hella-ugly mullet, but she still would have had her long, gorgeous hair. Instead, she took matters into her own hands. She donated her shiny mane to Locks of Love , an organization that turns donated hair into wigs for sick children – usually, children who have cancer. That’s the kind of ironic Alanis wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Jackie! invited 60 of her closest friends to come to a party, and we all cheered and laughed and smiled and tried not to cry as we watched her transform into another version of herself – a version more strong and beautiful than I ever could have imagined.
Some people may try to comfort her by saying “it’s just hair.” But it isn’t. By saying that it’s just hair, you’re saying that the choice she made to cut it wasn’t important, or empowering. By saying that it’s just hair, you’re not thinking of the emotions, comfort, and security attached to hair. You’re belittling the decision seventeen men made to cut their hair in solidarity. If you think it’s just hair, go cut your hair off like Jackie!. Do you have the courage to cut off all your hair? I don’t. I don’t, and I’m ashamed of myself for that.
Is Jackie! afraid? I’d say so. But she isn’t letting it control her. She’s taking it head-on and kicking its ass. With everything that’s happened to Madeline, I’ve never thought, “why us?” But I’ve spent many, many nights since June 24th thinking, “why Jackie!?” It’s clear to me now that now matter how much this sucks (and this really fucking sucks ), Jackie! will be able to handle it. I just hope that the rest of us can support her as beautifully as she’s been supporting us.
Wow, I don’t know what to say. Well, other then, Jackie! You look fantastic! We’ll be thinking about you on Monday.
It’s not just hair! But with or without it Jackie! is beautiful! We’ve been thinking about her a lot here down in GA. Hoping all goes well…
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Lee Anne says:
Jackie looks AMAZING. Seriously – it looks like that haircut was made for her. It totally brings out all of her beautiful facial features.
My thoughts will be will her on the 28th.
Wow! That was really beautiful! You are a wonderful writer. I love the hair cutting party idea. Such a great way to support a friend.
CaraBees last blog post..Six Things You Need To Know
She looks absolulty beautiful and with a smile like that she has the power to kick cancers ass!
what an amazing post. Jackie is strong and beautiful. Tell her we all think so. Tell her that she is someone to look up to.
mayas last blog post..
heartache heartburn says:
That was an amazing bit of writing. Jackie! sounds like a wonderful friend to have. And I love the short haircut! That is something I’ve always wanted to try, but I can’t imagine actually doing it! She is truly beautiful.
heartache heartburns last blog post..Shhhhh…
oh my gosh i totally love the short hair! i had a short haircut once and it looked horrible on me. jackie’s hair looks great both ways. she sounds like a great friend. our thoughts and prayers are with her!
natalies last blog post..Things you wanted to know.
Jackie, you are beautiful. And you look beautiful. Your strength is an inspiration. (Dude and seriously, the hair? Hot.)
Heather, thank you for sharing this story and your friendship with all of us.
Wow. Jackie looks so beautiful. It’s like she shines from the inside, you know. I really admire her strength at a time when so many people would totally schlump into a corner and feel powerless.
You all are in my thoughts.
andis last blog post..The first of many BlogHer posts
Wow–you’re right–it’s not “just” hair. I know I wouldn’t be brave enough to cut mine off. Your friend is very brave and she looks amazing w/ her short, sassy cut. Wishing her lots and lots of luck!!
Heather and Jackie!..Amazing people, amazing friends, amazing faith…simply amazing!
Jackie! looks amazing and that smile is flat-out a blessing.
When we had to shave my daughter’s head during chemo, it broke my heart. Then we had person after person come up to me, especially little girls that went to school with my older two kids, who would tell me “I cut my hair for Peyton and donated it to locks of love”. I cannot even explain what that did to my heart.
For Jackie! I can only imagine how empowering it was to make this choice and have such a show of love and support behind her. In the cancer world where you seriously feel like you have no control, each opportunity to OWN a decision is priceless. This is a chance for all of you to show her what an impact she has on your life and that is a beautiful thing. Almost as beautiful as she is.
Anissa@Hope4Peytons last blog post..Appropriate on the night I serve only side dishes for dinner
What an amazing woman and story. I would love to have a Jackie! in my life!
Jens last blog post..She’s Got Jokes
Oh Heather, I was BAWLING while reading this and looking through all the pictures. If I had been there I’m sure I would have been crying the whole time. You all are so brave and I’m so happy that your friend Jackie has so many loving people around her. It’s how it should be.
This is a beautiful story. My mother is going through her 3rd round of cancer treatment – and all I can say is that I feel so lucky that she had her recurrence now and not five years ago. The progress in research and treatment options is just astounding.
I love the idea of a haircutting party. Great pictures. It’s a real visual for keeping a positive attitude and finding fun everywhere you can. That’s what we’ve been doing, and I’ve made sure to keep my blog posts light so mom will have a guaranteed laugh everyday.
I’ll be thinking about this amazing woman on July 28!
Kates last blog post..A Short Rant to a Short Man
not. just. hair.
no way! Jackie is amazing!
what a great post. seriously.
and ps. mike looks great.
alis last blog post..i will never learn…and i suffer from the wonk-eye
Beautiful post Mama Spohr!
Jackie! is awesome. Truly inspiring. And amazingly beautiful, long hair or short. What a smile!
And Mike’s buzz looks good, although I’m still disappointed it’s not shaved so we could see the line between red, sunburnt face & white bald head…maybe next year.
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
She’s just gorgeous, in every way imaginable.
Jackie! is beautiful inside and out….
Your writing sent chills throughout my entire body.
I’ll be thinking of Jackie!
Thanks for sharing her with us.
What a beautiful post, Heather. Jackie is an awesome, awesome person. I can tell these things, you know.
Beckys last blog post..…Follow Me, Tiny DAN-CEEER
I’m keeping Jackie! in my prayers…I’m so glad you got to spend some time with her!! She seems so awesome. I think she looks GORGEOUS with the short new ‘do.
Corys last blog post..BlogHer ‘08
cindy w says:
This was such a great post, and Jackie! looks beautiful with her short pixie cut. (Mike’s buzzcut is cute too.) I don’t blame her at all for not wanting the surgical mullet. Y’all are all in my prayers.
I don’t know Jackie! but it’s plain to see what a beautfiul person she is – inside and out. You have a truely blessed friendship with her and I will be hoping for the best for her as she goes through her treatment.
Leslies last blog post.."Check out my Cherry!"
Thank you so much for sharing the great pictures of your beautiful friend Jackie and her beautiful friend, Heather. Love, love, love the picture of your little girl in your luggage. So Cute. Visiting from ILCW.
Marthas last blog post..Fine Dining and Great Junk Food from across USA
Oooooh, this post got me all teary-eyed, and it’s not the pregnancy hormones talking. So beautiful, all of it. I also don’t know Jackie! but she’s in my thoughts.
Nanettes last blog post..So You Think You Can Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog
what a beautiful post – thanks for reminding all of us that strength can exist even when facing the scariest of life’s curve-balls
jenns last blog post..postpartum happiness
Have I told you yet today how much I love you my little mon chi chi?!! Thank you SOOO much for being here. I couldn’t ask for a better friend. LOVE YOU! xoxoxoxo.
Jackie! is a truly beautiful person, and you are a wonderful friend! As others have already said, beautiful post, and thank you for sharing it with us
Black Hockey Jesus says:
I still don’t know what to write. She is so tough and cool.
Black Hockey Jesuss last blog post..MetroDad Guest Post
Ms. Moon says:
God, what a beautiful woman.
I am going to a very special place on the day she’s getting surgery for my birthday and the first thing I’ll do when I get there is to light her a candle.
That’s the only sort of magic I do, but I’ll be glad to do it.
Ms. Moons last blog post..Ruby Speaks
I am so happy that you and Jackie! have each other. Friends aren’t always easy to find, let alone stay connected with things are tough. Please keep us posted.
Kristins last blog post..Summer stinks
I just cry when I read about Jackie! because she’s so beautiful and this crap sucks.
holy shit she looks GREAT with short hair! Like seriously AMAZING!!
I know what a big deal that must have been, and how scary and how I would never have the balls to do it. To cut my hair so short.
But she looks really really good with that short, bad ass brave beautiful haircut!! I love it!!
Danielles last blog post..Masha D’yans
Jackie! is absolutely gorgeous!!! Wow! If I had the nerve to cut my hair and know I’d look like her I most definitely would. Thinking of her and praying for her on Monday.
Belles last blog post..Playing Catch Up
Rock and Roll Mama says:
That, my dear, is a beautiful homage to your friend. It’s amazing that she’s keeping power and what control she has, and so inspiring to see you all gather for her. It’s great that the guys cut their hair, but you don’t need to feel ashamed that you didn’t, mama. You’re there for her in all the ways that matter. I’m tearing up, because it’s just really great to see that kind of love between people.
Wow, that is just incredibly beautiful. She looks gorgeous too. What an amazing group of people! I am sending my absolute best her way.
Christys last blog post..Didn’t I Say I Had Nothing Better To Post About?
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Jenny, Bloggess says:
Beautiful! She’s stunning. and this post gave me goosebumps.
What a great story!! Jackie looks beautiful and is definitely in my prayers!!!
She has a great group of friends.
Allisons last blog post..9 weeks to go…
Everyone should have a Jackie! in their lives! And every Jackie! should have friends as great as all those who came out for her party!
She is in my thoughts through all of this!
Andreas last blog post..A year ago, a year from now….
For whatever it’s worth, your Jackie is in my thoughts and prayers. I think of you and yours often! xo
I will totally be pulling for her. She is certainly surrounded by TONS of love. And she looks BEAUTIFUL.
And? Your hubs looks good with a shaved head.
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Queen of Shake Shake says:
I LOVE the new look. Wow. It is so adorable and the fact it was for Locks of Love? Awesome!
Queen of Shake Shakes last blog post..This Should Be a Named Disease, Something That Sounds Like Black Hockey Jesus
Wow! Jackie is a shining jewel. And her short hair looks INCREDIBLE on her. I love, LOVE it. And, I can just tell from her pictures what a warm and wonderful person she is.
MereCats last blog post..Letter to a Long Lost Lover
She is amazing. And absolutely beautifiul with her hair cut. She really is. I hope everything goes well for her. She has a smile that lights up the page. (room?)
T@SendChocolates last blog post..What I Learned at Blogher ’08 #2
Jackie looks great with the short hair…….. I hope everything goes well with the surgery. I have participated in the annual NBTF walk in San Francisco for the past 3 years — that is a wonderful organization. Please keep us posted….. here from ICLW.
Sams last blog post..I’ll have s’more of dem there taters. Please.
moosh in indy. says:
Jackie! is one hot piece of turk kicking ass.
I’m honored that I got to be in her presence.
moosh in indy.s last blog post..moments.
Awesome story and Jackie looks gorgeous in her new do.
delurking: she just glows in every picture i’ve seen of her. such a beauty.
Exquisite, such beauty of spirit.
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Raging Dad says:
Wow, that was an amazing post. Just found your blog. Can’t wait to read more of it!
Raging Dads last blog post..William Friedkin, meet my daughter with streptococcal pharyngitis
That is a beautiful haircut!! We should all have the courage to go short and spunky!!
Tashs last blog post..Saturdays!
I love that hair cut! Beautiful!
koehmstedts last blog post..Playing around with your pictures
my thoughts and prayers and good vibes and everything wonderful in the universe to her today.
Yolandas last blog post..do your pants hang low do they wobble to and fro
Sending all my positive energy through this damn computer that your beautiful friend continues to kick butt and take names!
Carries last blog post..Lyle Love It
Margie Blystone says:
Christy sent me over and I’m so glad she did. Reading this post makes for one of those moments when you stop and thank the powers that be for health and family. Jackie may not have her health completely intact at the present time, but she has family and friends beyond measure and seemingly the inner strength to fight this dastardly ‘turk’ and become a stronger individual for having fought such a battle. My thoughts are with Jackie, and you, and all of the family, friends and medical staff who care for and support her.
Get well soon Jackie!
Margie Blystones last blog post..Feeling Pretty & Dog Prognosis
Devilish Southern Belle says:
First time visitor here via Rock and Roll Mama….your beautiful friend Jackie is someone we should all aspire to be like. You are so lucky to have one another! I’m really late with my comment, but I hope all will be well!
Devilish Southern Belles last blog post..Now that the boys are back
I always read your blog in high spirits. Thanks
God damn you dirty racist jackie