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Unchained Melody

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Last week, I put the hair brush down, scooped little Olivia into my arms and cradled her while she wept. On this particular day, it took a half an hour to shush her trembling and wrenching limbs.


As I wiped away her tears, I thought, "I can't do this anymore."


Olivia has exquisite hair.


Whatever the genetic building blocks that cause an abundance in growth, she has.


Olivia was also born with long eyelashes; I remember being astonished by that.

At about a year in, her hair and eyebrows were lush and bold.


Since then, her beautiful aesthetic has become an unshakeable thorn in our side.


At the beginning, I couldn't understand the meltdowns, the legitimate tears of pain and her cries of distress. Now I know it to be sensory processing disorder, but not just that...


The other day, I felt a headache coming on, so I pulled the scrunchie from my own head, and massaged out the tension. The relief I felt was instantaneous.

Horrified, I thought, "Poor Olivia!"


Olivia cannot vocalize if and when something hurts. Her only way to produce a complaint is to cry, bite herself, or wave bye-bye...which she does every time I do anything with her hair.


Washing it thoroughly is impossible, and when it comes time to brush it, she and I both walk away from the situation visibly shaken.


So, yesterday (after many conversations with Keith) I stopped contemplating and decided.


I called ahead to secure an appointment with a hairdresser that could understand what she was getting into, and Olivia had her first professional haircut from the comfort of her wheelchair, while I squatted in front of her, centimeters from her face.


Afterward, while trying to re-familarize myself with the contours of her cheeks, I felt my own tears well up and drop, this time with relief.


My daughter is beautiful, she stuns me, and she does so, still.


“Beauty is simply reality seen with the eyes of love." Rabindranath Tagore (Indian polymath – poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter)





A special thank-you to grandma Carmen (nana) for being physically and emotionally present through the experience.





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5 Comments


Shalamar I understand the beauty of her luscious hair, but you made the right choice again! My heart hurts for you Every time I read your updates. 🥺🙏🙏🙏

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Replying to

The song 🥺😔😭 and yes she does!

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I love the short look, and it will be an easy fix for you and Olivia. Reason mine is short….. Loves and Hugs!


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Shalamar Iris
Shalamar Iris
May 19, 2021
Replying to

Thanks mama Gore. ❤️

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