Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hair (07/04/19)
TITLE: Rhapsody in Red
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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Though difficult to manage her long hair, it was not cut off, as it was a large part of who she was as a person. This young lady had profound intellectual and physical disabilities, and lived in the state facility where I worked. Although non-verbal, Tammy’s expressive blue eyes and ready smile communicated her feelings, and rarely was she unhappy or upset. Her smile lit up her face when anyone told her she was pretty and how they loved her beautiful flaming-red hair.
Unable to walk, Tammy utilized a wheelchair and loved to go outside on walks with her Foster Grandparent. Grandma Mary sometimes put Tammy’s hair in a french braid and garnished it with blue ribbons. The little lady was cute and she knew it, and smiled ear to ear as she wheeled around the campus.
Due to our facility’s involvement in the Foster Grandparent Program, it was requested for a client representative to attend the event, and Tammy was chosen for that role. I was blessed with the opportunity to accompany her to the special luncheon held in a nearby city. This was a big deal and we dressed for the event. Tammy wore a sky blue dress that complimented her baby blue eyes and coppery-red hair. Grandma Mary created feminine curls in her companion’s hair, and Tammy grinned as people oohed and aahed over her resplendent head covering.
The highlight of our day happened when the wife of our then-president took time out of her socializing with the other attendees to come to our table to meet Tammy. I snapped a photo of Nancy Reagan holding Tammy’s hand, capturing mutual adoring expressions on each of their faces. It was a very poignant moment.
Of all the people selected to attend this boxed-lunch event, I’m not sure why I was picked to assist Tammy, but was thrilled for the experience. However, there’s not a doubt that Tammy was chosen because of her happy disposition, and of course, her glorious red hair.
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