This year we have our Mother back.

She’s been “gone” for a few years now – lost to dementia and aging or so we thought.  Mom suffers from multiple medical conditions, is bed-ridden, and needs full-time care.  Conversations with Mm were generally short and straightforward. Her mental state varied from day to day, but she was always smiling, happy, and kind to all her caregivers.

After a short hospital stay and a few weeks in a skilled nursing facility, Mom was holding conversations as she did three years prior. She’s even initiating contextually accurate discussions. Her recovery is nothing short of miraculous and spectacular. It’s amazing the effects of fluids, antibiotics, and proper nutrition on the human body.

As much as we owe mom’s recovery to her medical professionals, we are incredibly thankful for two hairstylists who were the catalysts for her improvement.  First, I am grateful for my hairstylist Heidi, who, among other things, encouraged me to trust my gut instincts on mom’s healthcare. There were many times I questioned my judgment because her providers were the experts and mom made some improvements. Without Heidi’s regular encouragement, I may not have stayed the course.

Likewise, I am incredibly thankful for mom’s hairstylist Kim.  She courageously spoke up about what she witnessed with mom over the years. I am sure it was risky for her approaching my sister and me with the concerns she had.  Her willingness to speak up was not only the reassurance and reinforcement my sister and I needed, but also the tipping point for my dad.

Without Kim, my mom may not be getting the care she needs and recovering such that her kids and grandchildren can enjoy her presence, or my dad might not have the renewed companionship of his wife.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for hairstylists. While they have the power to impact our confidence through physical beauty, they can have a much broader impact on their clients. In our case, their words helped to heal Mom’s physical health as well.

------------

I share this today in belated thanksgiving for Heidi and Kim. Equally important to share is that it doesn’t matter what career, job, or role you have, what matters is by doing it well, following your gut, and taking risks, you will have a profound effect on the people you serve.

Mom passed away nearly three years ago. During the time she was on hospice, people often wondered about her purpose and her impact on those around her. To me it was always clear; her purpose then was to feed the souls of her caregivers. She was always grateful, thankful, and loving to all her nurses, aides, and doctors.

Like Heidi, Kim, and my mom, you were created for a purpose. A very significant purpose.

Now, go impact the world.