Friday, March 07, 2014

Haircut and unexpected news

Yesterday, I paid a long-put-off visit to my hair stylist. I've been letting my hair grow (total excuse, I now) but "my" things always come last, either due to time or budget. When I arrived, I noticed a new person behind the desk. I thought the regular receptionist, Brandy, must be on vacation. 

The next couple hours were spent catching up with my hair stylist while she highlighted and cut my hair. She's been cutting my hair since spring 2011. I know the exact date because I'd been named a RITA® finalist that year and needed a haircut before having an author picture taken.

In a panic, since my hair hadn't been cut in a while and I was wearing ponytails, I drove down a street pulling into every hair salon I saw. No one had any appointments. By the time I hit the next shop, my third or fourth, I was thinking I was resigning myself to a cut at one of the strip mall places where you don't need an appointment, but you also aren't sure what you'll get. That freaked me out given this picture would be flashed on a big screen in front of oh, about 2000 romance authors.

The receptionist, a nice woman named Brandy, at the salon was so nice. She could see I was in a bit of a panic and told me everyone was busy at the moment, but if I could come back in a couple hours a stylist named Melody could see me. I was torn, because I just wanted to get my hair cut, but she assured me Melody was great. So I called hubby to make sure he could cover kid pickups and drop offs then took the appointment. I've been going their ever since.

So yesterday, after my hair was finished, I went up to pay. I noticed a piece of paper taped by the reception counter. I started to read and my heart dropped to my feet after the first couple of sentences. The letter was about Brandy who'd died a couple days before Christmas. She was only 41 and died like my friend Bud had right before Thanksgiving, suddenly without warning, leaving a huge gap in the lives of her husband, daughters, coworkers and friends.

I only saw Brandy a few times a year, but she always remembered me and would have biggest, warmest smile on her face. She went out of her way for me because I'm not the kind of person who schedules things way in advance. I would wait until I can't stand my hair anymore and want it done as soon as an appointment was available. When I had shorter hair the last couple of years, I was in there more often. One time, I called a few weeks ahead of time to book an appointment. I think she was stunned!

If anything, this is another reminder, a brutal one at that and I really don't need anymore, to embrace life. Don't leave words unspoken or deeds undone. You really don't know what might happen tomorrow.