Oh friends, we’ve got another Real Deal Holyfield here for you today – because my real life friend, Zohary, who lives a couple blocks away, whose children play on the backyard playground with my own, speaks action into words. Not only will you install the Amazon app onto your phone after reading her story, but you’ll be reminded to ACT …and that, I think, is magically holy. Enjoy.
My closest and dearest sister friend has terminal brain cancer.
A few days after her first surgery I left my own clan behind and flew out to Seattle to spend the weekend with her and her family. My mission was just to be helpful, in any way that I possibly could. To be fleshy hands and feet.
It so happened that the Saturday I arrived was the diagnosis day. As I texted her husband that I had arrived and asked if it was OK that I was heading right over to the hospital, he responded with the worst news, “Yeah. We just found out it’s an aggressive form of cancer.”
Glioblastoma multiforme. I can’t even say the words without feeling sick.
In any case, I put my strong face on and headed over to the hospital. Apparently I’m pretty good in crisis because I managed to keep it together and then only broke down after leaving the hospital.
I spend the days in the hospital with the family, asking questions and trying to be helpful. In the evenings I took her two daughters, 10 & 8, out for dinner and an outing, because – really – as if having your mom be sick isn’t bad enough then you have to also give up your weekends to being at the hospital, too.
At some point over the weekend I heard my friend’s husband, who at this point has been living like a single dad in addition to full-time care taker of sick wife, lament that he was having a hard time combing the oldest daughter’s hair which is long, almost down to her waist.
He mentioned it in passing to my friend who suggested maybe she might want to cut her hair.
Now I’m not an expert on too many things but I know about being a girl and I know about traumatic bad haircuts, so I did not want to wish this on this sweet girl who was already going through so much.
The conversation moved on to other topics and we discussed second opinions, donations, radiation and worst-case scenarios.
My heart broke over and over that weekend and it still does.
But on Monday morning as I stopped by the hospital for one last visit before I flew back home I asked my friend’s husband how the hair brushing went that morning. Again he said it was hard and didn’t feel like he could do a good job. That’s a mom thing to do.
And OH, how badly girls need their mommies at 8 & 10.
Without even thinking about it, I grabbed my phone and pulled up my amazon app. As a mom of 4 I add things to my “cart” several times per week, almost daily. Books, school supplies, misc. gadgets for my husband, you name it.
This time I just added a bottle of Original Sprout Miracle Detangler to my cart and confirmed my friends mailing address. I advised my friend’s husband that they would be receiving a package in two days (thank you Amazon Prime!) and that I hoped it helped.
A few days later I got a call from an incredibly shy 10 year old girl, and it was one of my favorite phone calls ever. She struggled to speak up but just wanted to say hi and thank me for the hair stuff. And when I got a text from her daddy the next day saying that the brushing had been pain free, I nearly cried.
The last thing these girls needed was any more pain and if I could help in any kind of way to prevent tangles or worse bad haircuts, then that was what God sent me there for that weekend.
I can’t fix my friend’s cancer, I’m not a doctor and though I’m still praying for a miracle there isn’t a lot I can do to make her more comfortable. But it was an incredible blessing that weekend to know that I could just do one simple thing to ease one little girl’s pain.
Zohary is a peacemaker, an encourager, and a work in progress. She is fiercely authentic. She loves geeking out about personality tests, cold cans of Coke, and her beautiful family—one amazing husband and four wild and loving kids. She’s a credentialed school counselor in California and a life coach, certified by Light University and trained in Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Way Methodology. She’s passionate about giving and receiving grace, finding hope in hard situations, shining in all the areas, encouraging other to shine, too, and mint chocolate anything. Her name is made up from the names of four loved ones. You can connect with her at on her blog or on her Facebook page. Otherwise, how did Zohary’s story encourage you and change you and touch you? Leave her a comment today!