The Brave Headshave and the Mystery of the Generous Angel…

Special things can sometimes happen to ordinary people. As a 45 year old mother to two gorgeous girls (ages 7 and 9), a “devoted” wife, dutiful daughter, the boss of a small business, a professional orthodontist associated with revered colleagues etc, I have some standards to maintain. So what was I thinking of when I declared to the world that I was going to shave my hair off for charity…

Did I expect people to be wowed by my courage? Or would they think me crazy? Would my father be shocked and my children scarred for life by a weird mother? Would my patients and fellow dentists think me less professional? Would people be encouraging or just to be polite? Would anyone care enough to donate? Would I be a laughing stock? Would I regret it?

Fear of how I may be judged is very real. However, I am lucky enough to choose my fate and face my demons. Some people simply don’t have that choice. They bravely face the uncertainty of life or probable death because of life-limiting illnesses. I reflect on my mother’s battle with late stage cancer and debilitating chemotherapy. She lost her hair but found an inner peace to help her cope in her last few months. We were lucky enough to fall into the gentle hands of St Wilfrid’s hospice and she died peacefully 4 years ago, thanks to the kindness of strangers who fund the hospices. Her loss left me exhausted and questioning the meaning of my life and how I will face death…

I focused on positive things like on getting my business back on track after 9 months of neglect. And since I zoned out of negative news and views, I noticed that people around me were interesting and  amazing. I heard about inspirational people & businesses, who do exceptional things to fund-raise for their chosen cause. Did I want to be one of them? Or did I want to live my life in fear or with regret? What were my goals and how would I measure my success? What defines me as a person?

Two days before the big day, I broke out in a panic night-sweat. The day before, my ego was so worried that no one would show up to support me on the big night, I didn’t even buy any food & drinks for the “party”. Last Wednesday, the 17th day in February, was surreal…  a normal clinic day, with normal patients, trying to act normal. Confident because we had raised 106% of our target and optimistic that my bald head would raise more.

Then Kinga, came running into my surgery with news of an enormous online donation from a mysterious source which she has spotted in a routine inspection of our donation page. We concluded that it was either intended for someone else (and would be withdrawn tomorrow) or a random tax dodge (by a business wanting to offload its profits before April!) Our meagre 106% was virtually doubled to 192%, a staggering 13K for Chestnut Tree Hospice. Our mystery donation is still there and I will not question it.

Something amazing happened on Wednesday. I don’t know what I said or did that night, but I woke up the next morning with a bald head, a photo-diary as evidence and a balance of over 13K on our Just Giving page. My questions and fears are still there but I now believe in angels…

There are angels all around us and the more we give, the more they will appear. My brave headshave has been an incredible personal journey of fear and optimism. I have received kind words from beautiful people and generous donations from angels…