That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Well here I am back in business and on the ball again. It has been a very long and painful five weeks. Just minutes before my radio interview with Sherri http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/2013/02/26/chatting-with-sherri  I felt a pain in my left knee. I mentioned to Sherri and she wanted to know if I wanted to cancel the show.”Hell no! ” was my response. Once the interview was over I tried to stand up from my sitting position and my knee popped and snapped. From that moment until now I have been hospitalized, bedridden, had surgery and now am on the mend. I was so scared as I was unable to walk or stand. I went through so many physical, emotional and mental transformations. Once again thanks to prayers from my friends and family God has decided I should be here to annoy you all for while still.

    I know I have just repeated myself here but there is a reason for my doing so. I am trying to make a point. There are so many of us with chronic pain, who on a daily basis have to live with what has been dealt to us. Then there are the surprise attacks on our bodies.  

      Does the fact that we have to live with pain on a daily basis make these extras more tolerable?

      Does anyone feel we are like the sore toe, when it is hurt we continuously bang it?

      Do you feel like others expect you to be stronger no matter what happens?

      There is a saying, God only puts on your plate what He knows you can eat. Well I think for some of us it feels like we are being served a buffet. I once had a friend tell me I had to learn to be grateful for the lessons God was was trying to teach me. It was during this conversation that I found out from her that she had never had a sick day in her life, let alone over 30 surgeries and two battles with cancer. When I told her that next time God wanted to add some more to my plate, I was going to tell Him I knew someone whose plate had ALWAYS been empty, and then I pointed at her. She called me a blasphemer and left my house in a huff. I am sure God was having a giggle over that one. 

      It is easy for those who have never suffered to be judgmental and unfeeling.

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Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part four

Today was to be one of those days that was embedded in my memory and still makes me smile. Christine, now ten, just came in from school while I was bleaching Bethany’s hair – something I did as a six-week ritual. This time I was using a new bleach product just out on the market. Instead of going on white, it went on blue. Bethany was paranoid when it came to using new products on her hair. She had, over the years had some unhappy results. Even though I had been doing her hair at Nora’s for the last two years she was still anxious. Christine walked in and seeing Bethany’s hair, she said, “What a pretty blue colour mommy.” With that, Bethany started to panic. She grabbed the hand mirror from the table and started to cry, “Why is my hair blue?” It took me some fast-talking to get her settled down. I needed to almost beg her to let me leave the product on to finish its work. Until the bleach on her hair was completed its job, she was very cool to me. It was as if all those years of total trust had almost vanished. I could not say anything to ease her anxiety. The stunning final results, the look of relief and a hug, were indicators that she was no longer concerned. Christine learned a valuable lesson that day never to make unsolicited comments again when it came to a customer. I calmly explained to her that some people are obsessed and over react when it comes to their hair. Once alone we joked about Bethany’s ‘panicky blue hair’ response.

My makeshift beauty shop was unusual and definitely not your run – of – the – mill salon. I had no specialized equipment, no fancy pump chair or lighted mirror above my hairdressing table. I used a kitchen chair, a utility room sink and a hand mirror. Sometimes the sunshine was my only overhead light, and a lawn chair my customer’s beauty chair. There was more than one occasion when Ron would have to remove an implanted hair from one of my feet or from my belly button. I had a habit in the summer of cutting hair outside, barefoot and in my bikini. I carried my scissors and comb everywhere I went. When we went to visit either family, I always had a haircut or style to do. Even my mother was treated to a professional cut and style when I went home. This pleased her. What a turnaround in her thinking from just a few years earlier. Oh, how far we had come from the attitude that my hairdressing training was a ‘ waste of time and money.’

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Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part three

I wished that was the end of my suffering but some of it was just beginning. Chronic pain and surgery were two constants in my life. I was only twenty-seven and I was already been four times under the knife. This left me feeling lost overwhelmed and useless much of the time. Needing to find something, anything, to take my mind off my pain and frustrations, I started accepting a few of my former customers for hair appointments in my home. No one had a problem with the inexact schedule I was a slave to. When it rained, my friends and customers knew not to call for their hair needs on those days. My fingers and my back were far too painful to work. I was, at first, restricted to haircuts and styling, but gradually as I was stronger I was able to stand long enough to do the occasional colour or perm. This was a far cry from the customer base I had while working in a salon, but it kept my hand in my craft, and helped us a little financially. This made the few customers I accepted happy. But, I missed having my fingers entwined in the long hair I so desperately desired to help make me feel alive and creative.

1974 was the year that things would start to turn around for us, financially. Ron was promoted to salesman and one of the perks was a fully loaded company car, his own office and expense account. Ron worked so hard for this position and no one deserved it more. We splurged with a celebration dinner. The kids were so excited they could hardly wait to go for a ride in Daddy’s new car. Ron could hardly contain himself as well. He couldn’t wait to share with his mom – showing her just how far he had come, from being a truck driver for one of the largest gas companies to a salesman with his own car. His father had passed away from a heart attack June 1968. It saddened him he could not share this great news with him too. There was no doubt he would have been proud.

For the first time in our lives I now even had my very own car. We had come so far in these few short years. We long ago decided we would never pack up our tents and give up we were determined no matter what it took we would fight to survive. We would forge ahead to make our lives better, not just for ourselves but especially for our children. It was obvious both our families were proud of what we accomplished. Frank and Cathy in particular showed their support.

Since I had my own car and when I felt well enough I would go back to the old neighbourhood. There I would cut a few heads of hair or give our former next door neighbour, Hildie, her much needed colour. Three of those haircuts and styles were for the three women of the family who had lived across the street from us before we moved. Sharon’s husband was the architect who had built the tiny castle we now owned. I loved doing Sharon’s, Leslie’s and their mother, Mary’s hair. They wore the elaborate, high bouffant styles that allowed me to be creative. Leslie, at one time in her career, was a practicing hairdresser and had a room in their house set up as a mini salon. This made my job very easy, but made me miss the salon atmosphere even more. Although I suffered afterward with body pain, it was so satisfying for my soul and my ego.

Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired

Now we were into early 1974. Four more years had passed and there were even more dramatic changes in our lives. We had happily reunited with my Baba and Guido only to have Guido pass away just a few weeks before our son Douglas Ronald was born. I also had a second chance to get to know my father. I must say I had a burning curiosity to see him again. I was not sure if it was to confront him or forgive him. Maybe a little of  both. I was biding my time until I was comfortable about asking Baba how I could get in touch with him. Once reunited, our visits were sporadic but we were trying to get to know each other. I was looking forward to having our kids and Ron get to know him as well. This reunion did not sit well with my mother so we didn’t discuss it with her. I had not seen him in 26 years. We had so many years to catch up on. I also had the good fortune of cultivating a good and loving relationship with all the siblings I knew as my brothers and sisters. Now we were grown and could think for ourselves, we as a family decided to be just that – a family. Nothing pleased me more. We started going to the family Christmas gatherings, something we had not done for many years. This was great for our kids – they now had a very large extended family.

The smartest decision we ever made was to take the four thousand dollar settlement from the accident – not more than an insult for the extreme loss we suffered – and use it as a down payment to build our tiny one floored castle. We could not know how this one important decision would have such a positive impact on our young family. We would no longer look back. We went from Windsor Housing to becoming homeowners. How proud we were of that accomplishment. We would take a horrible experience and make it something special and wonderful – ‘a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’ – or so they say. One of the things that made it so wonderful was we brought our beautiful, seven month preemie, miracle baby boy, Douglas, home to our new home the first week we took possession. We had to leave him in hospital for five heartbreaking, frightening weeks after he was born. He was too tiny, sick and weak from fighting for his life to come home with me. We knew he was our son when he fought and won. Christine was the typical big sister who wanted to be a little mommy and Terry the big brother who wanted to protect his baby brother. The doctor was worried about my health and arranged for a tubal ligation the day after Doug was born. We were concerned another pregnancy might land me up in a wheelchair. God gave us three amazing, caring and loving children who rarely complained when they had to chip in and help. It did not matter if it was helping with Doug, housework or just running errands.

Doug was only a year old when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. I was shocked but so very thankful that my mother came to the rescue to take care of Christine and Terry. They were old enough to go home with her and they genuinely loved their Nanny. To my delight, my mother and I had found some common ground. I no longer wept for the mother I never had. What she lacked in motherhood she made up for as a sweet, loving grandmother who the kids called, Nanny. She showed her love not just to our children but to the rest of the family as well. She showed no favoritism. We had too much baggage to let bygones be bygones but we could have comfortable and enjoyable visits. I must confess I had painful moments when I caught myself feeling jealous, these thankfully were short-lived and fleeting. It was important to me that our kids had grandparents that I was deprived of. It was obvious she was still oblivious to the bad treatment she bestowed on me. She acted as if it never happened. When I tried to talk about it she would look at me as if I was talking about someone else. I put it aside for our kids’ sakes. Ron didn’t want Doug to be so far away so we had a friend come stay at the house and take care of him for the week I was in hospital. She also helped for the six weeks I needed to recover.

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The final words written for A Hairdresser’s Diary / Scissors Retired

Good morning all. It has been awhile since I have been here to visit with you. I can give you the whole list of excuses and most would be valid and accurate but who needs to be bored with those. Everyone has them and no one wants to hear them. So I will give you some good news. This past Mother’s day I wrote the final words to the sequel to A Hairdresser’s Diary. I was so excited to have finished although we all know it is not really finished. Now comes the hard part edit, edit, edit.

I though you might like a taste of what I have accomplished so far. For those who have read my first book this will make sense to you. For those who have not it might be a little confusing. Anyway here is a taste. I will add more to morrow.

A  Hairdresser’s Diary

Scissors Retired

Chapter One

It was a long and painful, five years that followed the devastating car accident that targeted me in mid-June of 1970. The memories were overwhelmingly painful for me. So horrifyingly vivid were those first hours after being hit by the unconcerned, uncaring drunk driver those memories remained fresh in my mind. The life altering accident happened in a split second, but in my mind, it repeatedly played back in slow motion. There were even freeze frame moments. I was overcome with anger as I recalled the way my back was twisted so severely and grotesquely. Seat belts were not installed in vehicles as of yet. I was sitting facing Ron, my husband, both my knees rested on the front seat, my feet on the console and my left arm on the back of the seat. Then, in a flash of a second, a drunk driver sideswiped us. He was driving a stolen car, and was on probation from prison and had no driver’s license. He was eventually charged with dangerous driving. When he hit us the whole top of my body twisted to the right. I hit my forehead on my passenger side window. My knees remained on the seat. I thank God that Ron was not badly injured, even though our car was totaled. Fast thinking and in shock, Ron was able to get us to the OPP station safely. He was smart enough to get the description of the car and had part of the license plate memorized. It was not long before an OPP officer had the driver in custody. Remorse was not in this uncaring person’s personality. For someone who caused so much devastation and destruction he got off easily, his sentence was few more years in jail. My sentence was far greater. Although I was the injured one, my sentence would be for life. How profoundly unfair, one drunk drivers inconsiderate choices changed the lives of a whole family. At the time, Ron and I did not know just how much fight God had instilled in us. In the next few years, we would have many an opportunity to show the world just what we were made of. I still remember those family members who thought these two, nineteen-year old kids wouldn’t last a year together, let alone have the guts and gumption to get through this life-altering circumstance.

This is just one of the reasons we, as authors keep writing

This is just one of the comments on my Amazon book page for my book “A Hairdresser’s Diary.” Thank you Debi.
When I know that I have touched someone so deeply I feel blessed. God has given me away to share my story and bring memories back to those who lived it with me.

WOW Chris! When I went into fb and saw there was a suggested friend for me named ‘Christine Hannon’ I figured maybe it was the younger one…but NO it was YOU!! YAY! Then to find out you had written a book about your life and tales of hairdressing..some of which I had heard first hand from you a ‘few’ years ago as we sat having tea as friends or as I or my daughters Donna or Mindy sat having our hair done by you. In fact if I remember correctly my oldest daughter Donna was going through something at one time and you wrote a little poem for her. Now back to your book…so on May 6th I bought your book for my Kindle Fire and on May 7th @ around 11:45pm I finally could put it down…FINISHED! You see sometimes reading a book is easy and refreshing, like ice cream on a hot summer day. Compulsive and addictive, like a drug you just can’t get enough of..and these I found in reading Chris’s Memoirs. I cringed and cried at the life she lived as a child growing up but I first handed lay KNOW and have SEEN the BEAUTIFUL woman inside AND out that Chris has become due to the trials and tribulations she has gone through, and when Chris tells us she’s a ‘Chatty Cathy’ please BELIEVE it!! She is, but in the most awesome way! Thank you Chris for this awesome read! I CANNOT WAIT for the sequel
Lovingly Always
Debi xox

Finding ones way back! Renewed and refreshed.

 

in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.jpg

It has been several months since I have posted on my blog. So much has happened that I would have to write a novel to explain it all. I have had my heart-broken for I have lost a son, not to the grim reaper but to unfortunate circumstances. I have been subjected to three more surgeries, watched my husband’s health suffer, moved to another town, turned sixty-nine years old and celebrated fifty years married. The last three events should have been happy, joyful and memorable experiences but because of the first heartbreaking events they were not. I know I am not the only mother who has suffered this painful, gut wrenching and devastating loss but it sure felt like I was the only one at the time.  

Our other children, grandchildren and family did their best to see we had an anniversary to add to our memory bank and we love them for that. But our hearts would not allow us to rejoice the way we deserved.

It is time I take God’s hand and ask Him to help guide me though a time of healing. I know I cannot do this alone and was not strong enough to ask for His help before now. I am ready and I can see there is a light at the end of what seemed like a very dark  tunnel into the unknown. I pray for my son who someday may find his way back to his family.

So I am writing this post today, and tomorrow I will get back to writing the sequel to my book “A Hairdresser’s Diary”. I will take one day at a time and cherish each of those days. As far as my Anniversary, Ron and I will be married fifty years for a whole year, and will have lots of time to celebrate the way we imagined we would.

Thank you all my friends for your past support and I can only hope you will keep visiting me once again.

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