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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Wish I Had...

Photo Credit:  pippalou from
You would have thought that my children had found a magic lamp with a genie inside.  On Sunday night, my kiddos were wishing like they had never wished before.  Spring Break came to a close for us and along with some tears, the wishing began…big-time.  “I wish I had another week of Spring Break…I wish it wouldn’t have rained during our week off…I wish school started at 10:00am…I wish it was summer already…I wish we lived at the beach…I wish I could sleep in, etc.”

We all like to wish for things, don’t we?  Many will say, “I wish I had a million dollars.  I wish I had a bigger house.  I wish I had a better car.  I wish I had a more satisfying job.  I wish I had a family that got along.  I wish I had…”

As I was walking along the river in San Antonio last weekend, a woman stopped me and said, “I wish I had.”  She said, “I wish I had your hair.  It’s beautiful.”  I was taken aback at first.  Then, I smiled and kindly thanked her for her sweet words to me.  As my husband and I finished our stroll down the scenic River Walk, I kept thinking about her flattering words.

When I got back home, the woman’s words continued to echo in my mind.  It was time.  I knew.  It was definitely time.  I had been procrastinating, but I realized that there was no better time than the present.  My hair is waist-length, but I always wrap it up in some sort of an updo.  Over the past few years, I have donated 24 inches of hair, and I knew it was time for 12 more inches to go.  I had been meaning to make a hair donation for months and her words prompted me to action.  Someone out there needed my hair way more than I did.

I immediately googled “Wigs for Kids” for the directions on how to send in my hair donation.  Here is some of the scoop from their website that I found to be both informational, as well as touching:

“For over 30 years, Wigs for Kids has been providing Hair Replacement Systems and support for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and other medical issues at no cost to children or their families.”

“The effects of hair loss go deeper than just a change in a child’s outward appearance. Hair loss can erode a child’s self-confidence and limit them from experiencing life the way children should.  With an injured self-image, a child’s attitude toward treatment and their physical response to it can also be negatively affected.  Wigs for Kids helps children suffering from hair loss to look themselves and live their lives.”

“We are the first and oldest organization of this kind and have a lot of experience creating custom Hair Replacement Systems that are made from real hair and look just like a child’s hair would naturally.  When a child loses their hair, they don't just suffer physically.  They experience a great emotional pain from the extreme change in their appearance.”  

“Creating these wigs for children is more than just a quick fix.  It takes twenty to thirty ponytails or braids to create one Hair Replacement.  Hair replacement systems from Wigs for Kids are custom made to perfectly fit the recipient.  They won't come off when a child is swimming or playing sports.  These hair pieces can be trusted to stay in place.  Each one is hand-tied and made completely of the human hair that has been donated.  The cost of one hair replacement system is $1,800, but we never charge the family in need.”

After reading some of the personal stories on the website, I felt even more fulfilled about those six ponytails in my envelope.  To think that something I was able to freely give could make such a big difference in a child’s life brings me immense joy.  The paperwork asked if my hair donation was made in memory of or in honor of someone…why yes, yes, it is!  Of course, I put in honor of my goddaughter, Sydney!

I’ve often heard other stories of people saying, “I wish I had.”  Many times, they are declarations filled with regret.  “I wish I had told him/her that I loved them…I wish I had spent more time loving and less time fighting…I wish I had not lived my life in fear…I wish I had truly lived each day to the fullest…I wish I had not said those words I can’t take back…I wish I had a ‘do-over’ button…I wish I had forgiven…I wish I had apologized…I wish I had kept in contact…I wish I had sent that letter/e-mail/text…I wish I had made that phone call…I wish I had chosen a different career path…I wish I had taken better care of my health…I wish I had spent more time with my family and children…I wish I had taken more chances and risks…I wish I had let myself be happier…I wish I had…”

Life is something, isn’t it?  Wow.  How blessed we are that God gives us a fresh start every 24 hours.  We get to choose how many “I wish I had” statements we’ll ponder on or we can just dive in and do those things.

I received a timely e-mail from Mikey that has some great snippets about life:
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

And, just when we think we can’t do this or that, remember that every new morning brings us as much of God's grace as we need for the day.

Here’s to turning our “I wish I hads” into “I’m glad I dids!"

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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