Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

The old gray mare goes to heaven… doesn’t she?

I’m just saying...



“Julia…what are all these activities you have marked down?” My husband, Marty, was looking at the calendar we keep in the kitchen for appointments and errands and such. And he was right… my coming days were full. I had a hair appointment, a manicure and pedicure appointment, a brow waxing, and several other “beauty” meetings in one week.

It was, however the week before I was having a second surgery on my face.

If you follow this column, you know that over the 2021 Thanksgiving weekend, I fell down our stairs from the top step and basically broke my face. I’ve already had one surgery to repair the broken cheeks, nose, and jaw, but unfortunately there was a cut on my face that required stitches, and somehow the scar from the cut attached itself to either the cheek bones or the metal used to repair the cheek bones. I’m told it’s a rare occurrence but of course, if it could happen… it would happen to me. The attached scar then formed a dam of sorts on my cheek that was holding in fluids. The only way to release it was another surgery.

While the first surgery was pretty intense it did repair everything, and I have been healing since early December. But this “dent” in my face was awful…it was a purplish red and because it was “damming” up the fluids, I was constantly swollen and bruised on the right side of my face.

It wasn’t pretty.

So when I was referred to a surgeon who could fix it, I all but ran to his office on foot! He assured me yes, he could repair the “dent” and he had just the person to do it. The plans were laid, the surgery was scheduled, and I needed a complete overhaul before it happened.

I explained this to Marty as best I could.

“These are all the things I need to get done before I go ‘under the knife,’ Marty. I know the week is crowded, but I have to squeeze a lot in before ‘carving day.’”

“‘Carving day,’ Julia? I take it you’re referring to your upcoming scar revision?”

“Yep…that’s the day. And I certainly can’t go into surgery like THIS!” I held up one hand to show him how my nails had grown out and pulled up my hair to expose the gray roots with the other one.” But…he’s a man so….

“What are you showing me? Your red fingernails and hair? What do they have to do with getting ready for surgery?”

“Well, Marty…” I sighed heavily as I launched into my explanation. “What if something goes wrong while I’m on the table? I can’t die with gray roots and outgrown nails or unwaxed brows! I can’t go to Heaven looking all scraggly now, can I?”

“Well first of all, you don’t look scraggly at all… I don’t even see any gray in your hair, and your nails are fine. But I don’t remember reading anywhere in the Bible that you have to have perfect hair and nails to get into the Pearly Gates either!”

As I said…he’s a man. But kudos to him for the “you’re not scraggly/you look fine” comment! He may be a man, but he’s no dummy! However I didn’t realize he was so well read within scriptures either. Convincing him all my “beauty” routines were absolutely essential could be tougher than I thought.

“I think it’s inferred, Marty…you know…like putting on your ‘good clothes’ before a party or going to church?”

“What?” He sort of snorted and bellowed at the same time as he laughed at my remark.

“Are you telling me when God sent Moses up on that mountain to bring down the Ten Commandments that somewhere in those words it says you can’t get to Heaven with bad hair?”

“Oh so you DO think my hair is bad then? See! I knew it!” I quickly seized my chance to change the subject.

“I didn’t SAY that, Julia! I simply asked that if, according to your theory, you DID have bad hair, which YOU definitely DO NOT, are you saying you can’t get into Heaven?”

“Well I don’t really know, do I? None of us do. But if you have good hair, you can conquer anything. And seriously…if something were to go wrong, I wouldn’t want to spend ETERNITY with gray roots and grown out nails! I’d like to look my best. Eternity is a very LONG time, Marty. A VERY long time!”

“As much as I hate to bring this up, Julia, you’re gonna be cremated. Remember? So it wouldn’t really matter would it? You’d get a new body in Heaven or just become a spirit or something. I just don’t think hair and nails will be that important.”

“Well it’s important to meeee, Marty! And you just make sure you remember that I’m to be cremated and have my ashes buried in the roots of a willow tree.” It never hurts to remind our loved ones of our wishes. Marty laughed again and crossed his arms across his chest.

“Well…in that case,” I knew some zinger was coming. “Why don’t you just save the money you’re gonna spend on the hair and nails and we’ll just plant you in the roots of a Scraggly Oak?” He was chuckling to himself as he walked away from me towards the porch.

He’s a funny guy, my Marty. He’s hilarious. Just a laugh a minute.

Scraggly Oak INDEED!

I’m just saying…

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