For those of you who know me but perhaps do not know all of my family, this is a picture of my dad with my sister Shannon. You may have seen his picture on my blog before. It is never too surprising to see a bald man. In fact, we always thought my dad was extra cool with his shiny bald head. He is a black belt in karate and it just suits him, however, his baldness is not due to normal male pattern baldness, it is due to a disease called alopecia – an autoimmune disease which attacks your body’s hair follicles. Unfortunately this disease is hereditary and of all eleven of his children, it was my sister Shannon who inherited it. She is so brave and so beautiful – seriously, I don’t just mean inside (though she certainly is that), she is gorgeous and should be a model. This hasn’t been easy for her, and none of us have just decided that it is her fate. We all pray that her hair will grow back as it did once before. As you can imagine, a girl’s sense of identity and beauty is very much tied in with her hair. Shannon has become such an amazing person though and I know a huge part of that is due to how she’s had to push against the struggles that have come with this disease along with the accompanying illnesses she is prone to due to whatever affects this disease and the many medications she’s tried have had on her system. I really love her. I started thinking about her today and wanted to write this because she deserves some recognition for who she is. I love this picture so so much. Not just because it is touching and makes me cry, or just because I know and love the people in this photo and know how well they love each other, but there is something powerful in it, something I can’t explain exactly, but something that makes me want to be brave and strong and amazing.
P.S. To see Shan's cute family or check out her darling new wig, click here: Shannon Pearl