“Why do you have white hair?” asked the young girl, impertinent as only a seven-year-old can be.
“Because I’m getting old,” I replied.
“No, I mean why don’t you dye it?”
“Because my white hair is beautiful–it’s actually silver and sparkly.”
She wrinkled her nose. “It’s not silver. It’s white.” She snorted and stroked her own hair, brown and straight. “When I get that old, I’ll dye my hair.”
There was no point arguing with her. Silver hair is a beauty a seven-year-old can’t possibly appreciate.
But even beyond the fact that my silver hair has come in with body and curl that my youthful hair never had (it sat on my head like a wet dish rag), my silver hair is beautiful for what it represents.
Like ANZAC poppies that remind us to never forget those who died for our freedom, each silver hair is a reminder.
Lest we forget the struggles over which we have triumphed:
• As a parent, the screaming newborns, toddler tantrums and teenage rebellion
• Mental health lows
• Physical pain and illness
• Emotional pain—loved ones lost, relationships shattered
• Natural disasters and those made by humans
• The acts of violence against ourselves, against those we love, against our neighbours.
Every silver hair reminds me I have not only survived, but thrived. Every silver hair is a badge of honour, a challenge met, a goal surpassed.
Dye my hair?
Why would I ever hide my hard-won medals?
Sheer bloody-minded stubbornness.
I wear these badges of honour with pride—my silver sparkling medals that streak my hair and remind me what I’m made of.