I will never forget the day Anders came home from pre-school and told me about his new friend Taylor. He was sitting at the kitchen table watching me cut an apple into slices. When he opened his mouth, I thought he would ask (again) if he could use the apple corer, but instead he blurted out, “My friend Taylor at school doesn’t have any hair.”
It was summer time and I assumed, like many little boys in our area, his parents had chosen to give him a cooler ‘do.
“Some people shave their hair really short when it gets hot,” I explained. “You can do that, too, if you really want to.” I held my breath, hoping I wouldn’t soon be watching a pile of his light brown locks be swept into a dustpan.
“No, mom. Taylor is a girl and she was sick so all her hair fell out. She’s better now, though. Could that happen to me, too?”
It was one of those moments where being a parent feels a lot like a swift kick to the stomach. Could it happen to him, too? It could and it does in the kind of nightmares that force me to climb out of bed and tip-toe to his room to reassure myself he’s sleeping safe and sound.
“You don’t have to worry about that,” I told him. “I’m glad Taylor is feeling better.”
Reading about the recent 50 year anniversary of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital made me think of this exchange between Anders and I and also of Taylor who is thriving, by the way. She even has an adorable little bob going.
In honor of 50 years, St. Jude has put together this very touching video of some of the patients singing Hey Jude by the Beatles alongside a few faces you may notice — Jimmy Kimmel, Keith Urban, Jennifer Aniston, Jordan Sparks, Robin Williams and more.
Check it out and grab a tissue.
If you donate $35, you can receive one of the #HeyStJude t-shirts pictured in the video. Proceeds help St. Jude research children’s cancer and other deadly diseases.