l50 Days fo 50: Visual Memories and Prayers for my Mom DAY 47

Mafia Hairdresser

5/26/2012   DAY 47

[This is a big day for me. I’m taking Saturdays off this summer to write. I never had Saturdays off as a hairdresser and that’s been since 1982.]

As it was pointed out to me yesterday when I was doing journalist and TV personality, Noeleen McGrath’s hair, I have a visual memory. (I’m totally name dropping because I just actually met her and I love what she does and I love her!) I’m not Noeleen’s primary hairdresser (whom, by the way is wonderful and out of town), she just needed a touch up before an assignment and we knew each other from Twitter and we both just wanted to meet each other. Anyhoo, she and I began to get to know each other and as I repeated back to her what she wanted on her hair she said, “You have a visual memory.” I told her yes, and that whatever travels and reporting around the world that she was telling me about, I would remember it as if it were on TV or like I had actually been there too. It would become like my own memory. Noeleen has a visual memory too, so it takes on to know one…
My next client, Elaine, had not been in to see me for over a year. Her roots were way to long but she lives in Michigan and had been pulling her hair up in a ponytail because, as she explained, she’s been cah-raaaayzee busy. (See Day 42) As she began oversharing about the extensive renovations and restorations she had been doing for the past (yawn) two years on a Victorian house she and her husband had bought, I asked her how the tiles and the windows were coming along. She was amazed that I remembered where we had left off a year ago: she was making and firing the tiles herself via special kilns via the Art Institute of Chicago and she was using vintage colored glass for the windows. Who wouldn’t remember that?
If you read yesterday’s entry, you may have thought that it was about weddings. Those pictures were actually of my last client of the day, Deb. She’s not on Facebook or Twitter so she had no idea that I had written about her so I let her read it on my iPhone and explained the full reason I wrote about her and she was touched and please. You whom did read yesterday’s blog may have thought that what I was writing about was Deb and her wedding. It was not.
My mom went into the hospital and it turns out that things were not so good. She’s going to have to have a piece of lung removed. She stands a good chance of surviving the surgery and, because she was a smoker, and because of her age, it is her recovery that is in question. But I didn’t want to write about that yesterday. In fact, I had been up the whole night before thinking about things like flights, rearranging my clients’ appointments, should I take Junebug my Yorkie with me?… I was also driving myself crazy, not only thinking about the “what ifs,” I was going mad thinking about the “OMG’s,” such as, I don’t want my mom to die!
I was able to calm my mind down partly because I had been listening to meditation recordings all week and I kept remembering a mantra that kept coming up, “It’s alright. It’s always going to be all right.” And then I remembered Deb and her wedding. I also remembered when Deb had her twins and then, within the same same week her mother suddenly passed away. Am I sucker punching you today? Not intentional– I assure you. And it’s certainly not as hard a punch as what Deb had to endure. I remembered the pain I felt and how much everyone cried at Deb’s mom’s funeral. Her own pain is still unimaginable to me. But I know that, when the time comes, I’ll cry at my own mother’s funeral.
The problem with having a visual memory is that, if I’m not remembering, my mind is making up stories and scenarios like my mother’s funeral that has not happened yet or of my clients flinging themselves off tall buildings because I needed to reschedule their appointments, or picturing myself late on my bills because I had to pay thousands of dollars extra for a quick airline ticket. It’s alright. It’s always going to be all right.
I had to stop making things up with my mind. When I thought about it, I knew from my past experiences, and Debs and my clients and my family and friends’, that everything was going to be alright. I know that I have done my research and learned many lessons in this lifetime. And I know that I can plan and move forward on all of my plans. And I can and will handle all of the bumps in the road. From practice, I’ve become tenacious and strong, and I will achieve my goals (without stepping on toes). So I also know that I’ll be able to handle whatever goes on with my mom. This is gold here and I wouldn’t see it were it not for turning 50.
More: I believe it was because of yesterday’s blog that I was able to let go of the movies I was making of a future that did not exist. And I’m very thankful that I was able to use the visual memories of my past to help me stop making those movies. I’d also like to thank you who have been reading along. There was a part of me that didn’t want to bum you out yesterday. And there was a part of me that wanted to go through my worry for my mother as I would advise you to do if you were in the same situation: It’s alright– It’s always going to be all right.

Not to leave you hanging: My mom goes into surgery today. She’ll be in the hospital for a week and then she will recover at home. I’ll fly out for the first ten days of her home recovery because that might be the tough time. I plan to be her cheerleader and hope that she uses whatever gifts she’s been given to recover and then use the rest of her life to be as healthy and joyful as possible. But if she has other plans I’ll know that it’s all right too.
If you would, send a few prayers my mom’s way after my birthday. Marie Elshere might need them then.
Thank you, again.



*Oh, are you wondering why I only use the name Jon-David and not Jon-David Elshere? Well, my dad’s name is John, so my ‘rents named me sort of after him, and my grandfather, Don/Donald, and then mom and dad threw in a bible name for my middle name: David. So I was Jon David Elshere.
The name, Elshere dies with me and my brother because neither of us had biological kids. The original family name was Elshire is still being used by the faction of family that family who kept it when an ancient family feud caused one family to change the name to Elshere.
I know it’s pretentious (and I completely own that) but I never thought Elshere was particularly marquee, so I legally changed it to Jon-David. I would have kept Elshire. It just sounds better then “El-sure.” Maybe I would have just shortened it to Shire… but I’d still put the hyphen in Jon-David. So now have no last name, like Cher, Sting, Flea, Madonna, and Ann-Margaret. [Shut up. Whatever!] But, as I have stated before, Karma is a bitch and I have such a hard time filling out forms where they require a first and a last name and I cannot even have a Google+ account.
In my heart I’m still Jon David Elshere. Especially lately.

It’s so funny: I was looking at my mom’s Facebook page and she has erased all of her old wall posts-from herself and everyone. I don’t know if she thinks she was being more “private” or not. I had to bring her to Facebook, kicking a screaming and now she likes it but I can still see she’s leery of it. (And rightfully so–if used incorrectly.) If any of my friends wishes her well on Facebook I will make sure she doesn’t erase it and I will assure her that her privacy will still be intact.


3 thoughts on “l50 Days fo 50: Visual Memories and Prayers for my Mom DAY 47

  1. To thwart officialdom, for the sake of convenience I suggest you use use the second names “Asabove” or “Seeabove”. Officials are rarely chosen for their imaginative skills.
    Oh, and your mom IS going to be fine.

  2. Thoughts and prayers for all of you today. Mom and dad will be there through the surgery. We considered heading up there….our kids consider your parents as dear as grandparents. You’ve done well in representing your family. You are loved.

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