I have a beard and, on most days, I like it. Other days, I don’t. On those days it’s wild or unmanageable. Or itchy and dry. I also don’t like what appears to be a permanent crease that is forming due to Covid masks. Trivial things, I tell myself, and so, on most days, I like the beard.
Some people don’t like the beard. They think it should get trimmed, or that I should shave it off altogether; that it makes me look old. Spoiler alert: I am. Around this time of year, other people think I should add glitter and decorations.
What some people might not know is that the beard isn’t a novelty. I didn’t grow it on a whim. It’s a sign of strength and determination and a reminder of the fight I’m in. It’s a symbol that means I continue to have clean brain scans - the most recent being last week - and that, come January 9th, I have been winning this fight for 2 1/2 years. That’s 30 months. That’s twice as long as the median survival rate of glioblastoma patients.
When you see me without the beard, you will know that I am back in for another round, gloves up. Until then, I celebrate the beard in all its glory and frustration. Know that the beard means I continue to be blessed by God with good health. Know that it grows with your love. This is the way.