Before, After, and Now

When my mom died I did the most random thing. I drastically changed my hair. I wore it straight. I got bangs. I died it a deep reddish brown. Why? I have no idea.

My mom loved my hair. It’s one of the few features I didn’t get from her. My hair came from my dad. It is naturally curly, albeit a dirty dishwater color. My mom’s hair was naturally the same color as mine, but she had very fine and straight hair.

Growing up I hated my hair. My mom didn’t know the correct way to style curls, so I was often left with frizzy waves that I pulled up into a pony tail. As I got into high school and began having a say in how my hair was cut I often chose shorter, above the shoulder, options due to the easy manageability. My mom hated my hair short. She also hated it straight.

So therein lies the reason I would so drastically change my look. I wanted to make her mad. I wanted her to know how angry I was. It was my way of saying, “You didn’t consider me when you chose not to wear a motorcycle helmet, so I’m not going to consider you when I change my hair.” Immature? Yes.

Now that my hair has gone back to “bronde” and curly, I think about how much she would like it. Did I change back because of her? No. I changed back because I wanted to. And that’s truly how we have to live our lives, those of us who have experienced loss. We can’t continue to live for someone who isn’t here.

What I do now, I do for me. As hurtful as it sounds, my mom didn’t consider me or her grandson when she refused to wear the safety gear. She didn’t think of the consequences. So while I will no longer go out of my way to spite her, I also will not go out of my way to do what she would’ve wanted me to do. If my mom wanted a say or an opinion in my life, she should’ve ensured she would be around by doing whatever was necessary. Even wearing a helmet.

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