Sometimes you meet someone and they just stick.
Six years ago I sat in College Algebra class next to a young girl with big brown eyes. My seatmate was twelve years my junior but she had a vibrant and mature energy. Over the next four months, we sat next to each other twice a week and scratched our heads over binomial theorem and the laws of exponents.
Christina was cool. I liked her. We worked together to figure out stuff we’d never use again and made College Algebra fun. At the end of the semester we hugged and exchanged phone numbers and good-luck wishes.
Life happened and we lost touch. I was a busy mom and Christina was finishing college.
Fast forward six years.
In August, while perusing Face Book I saw Christina’s name on my friend’s wall. Hey! I know her! Christina works with our mutual friend and I thought about the smallness of the world and stuff.
Then my heart stopped.
Christina. A young mother. Stage 3 breast cancer.
I began following Christina on Face Book. I emailed her, “Do you remember me? I’m praying for you,” and she replied back and asked me about my kids.
Christina began chemotherapy and despite how bad she felt, she managed to keep everyone updated. I check on her every day, if only virtually and I’m so humbled by her resilience.
Two nights ago, Christina posted a picture of herself, with her newly shaven head. She is beautiful and strong and she moved me to tears.
I sat in silence for a long time staring at her beautiful picture. I thought of what she is going through and how I couldn’t possibly know how hard it is. She is a mother to a beautiful little boy and she’s fighting for her life. Yet in her face I could see the determination of a survivor.
I thought about the guts it took to shave her head. Of the pure awesomesauce ballsiness she has to give cancer the big middle finger and hold her beautiful bald head high.
I looked up from her picture and said to my boyfriend, “I can grow my hair right now. She can’t. It’s not fair and I have to do something.”
So I made an appointment with my favorite hairdresser, Valerie at the Mitchell Wade Salon in Oviedo.
And this, Christina, is for you.
Christina, you are strong and loved and you are not alone. You got this. Go kick cancer’s butt ASS!