I was at the South Carolina Writers’ Conference this past weekend with almost 200 writers from all over the country. While I heard a lot of wonderful speakers and spent a lot of quality time with my amazing agent, Kevan Lyon, the most memorable thing for me was washing my friend Ginny’s hair.
Ginny has Friedreich’s Ataxia, a rare disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system and the heart, but she refuses to let the disease hold her back. She jetted around the Myrtle Beach Hilton Resort on her red scooter all weekend overseeing the fruits of her labor from months of planning the conference. She put out fires, doled out hugs, and celebrated the end of a very successful conference.
In Biblical times you honored someone by washing their feet. But Friday afternoon, Ginny honored me by asking me to wash her hair for her. I shampooed while she stood on unsteady legs and held on tight to the kitchen sink. She purred as the warm water ran over her head and kept thanking me and telling me how wonderful it felt. It felt wonderful for me too, that I could do something so small for my friend that made her feel beautiful. Ever the independent one, she politely declined my offer to dry her beautiful gray locks. She did that herself and fluffed them until they looked fabulous.
If Ginny’s disease effects her heart, it may effect the muscle itself, but it can never touch her true heart. She is beautiful both inside and out.