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We’re thankful for eyebrows

Tomorrow when I gather my family around our chaotic dining room table, I’m going to thank God most sincerely for my sister Kathy’s eyebrows, because they’re dark and lovely and brand spanking new.

They gracefully arch over dark blue eyes that reflect profound courage, dignity, strength and optimism.

My mom used to chase Kathy around the house with a tweezers when she was younger, much to the amusement of us pale-browed siblings. As she grew older, her eyebrows and lashes became her best feature.

“I hope I don’t lose my eyebrows,” she said with typical stoicism upon hearing her diagnosis of Her2neu positive breast cancer.

I hoped so too. I hoped it a lot.

But cancer doesn’t take requests and, shortly after Kathy lost her hair, she lost her eyebrows too. It hardly seemed fair because, of course, it wasn’t.

Eyebrow-less, Kathy pushed on through a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation, anxious to reclaim her life.

“I don’t look like myself,” she said, her only complaint throughout a process that included several surgeries with their requisite stitches, drains and nausea.

“You just need your eyebrows,” I said bluntly in a well-intentioned bit of cheerleading probably unsanctioned by the American Cancer Society.

This past Sunday Kathy showed up at our pre-Packer game tailgate, all bundled up against a brutal wind chill. Among the many things Kathy refused to concede to cancer was her coveted presence in section 117 at Lambeau Field.

“Hey!” I said as I she made her way towards us. “Your eyebrows grew back!”

She wiggled them a little in glee.

Kathy has five more weeks of daily radiation and several months of Herceptin treatments until she’s officially finished.

Meanwhile, we’re grateful for simple things, like eyebrows, and the next time I’m tempted to roll my eyes toward my own scrawny eyebrows, I intend to remember what genuine obstacles some people overcome to reclaim their’s.

Happy Thanksgiving from Molly B and Me and may God bless you all.

She sprouted her eyebrows early. Here's three-year old Kathy, photographed by her dad.

She sprouted her eyebrows early. Here’s three-year old Kathy, photo credit Ron Kostelnik.

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Molly and Kathy, pictured here in 2011, enjoy similar luxurious brows.

Kathy took her brows and her then fiance Keith to a wedding a few years ago.

Kathy took her brows and her boyfriend to a wedding a several years ago. Last year, Keith joined Kathy at a spectacular wedding of their own.

Kathy and our mom, pictured here in Hungary, enjoy an extended detente following the great Eyebrow War of 1982, during which my mom launched a blitzkrieg of tweezers and wax on Kathy's unruly brows.

Kathy and our mom, pictured here in Hungary, enjoy an extended détente following the Great Eyebrow War of 1982, during which my mom launched a blitzkrieg of tweezers and wax on Kathy’s unruly brow line.

This is a picture from Monday's post but I'm adding it again because peeking under that thick stock cap are Kathy's brand new eyebrows. My own browline has been pitiful since birth.

This is a picture from Monday’s post but I’m adding it again because peeking under that thick stocking cap are Kathy’s brand new eyebrows. My own browline has been pitiful since birth.

This is Kathy on her last day of chemo. Eyebrow-less, but thrilled to be finished.

This is Kathy on her last day of chemo, eyebrow-less, but thrilled to be finished.

Here is Kathy and her eyebrows on her wedding day last year, six months before her diagnosis.

Here is Kathy and her eyebrows on her wedding day last year, six months before her diagnosis.

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Posted on November 27, 2013, in Family, Family Stories, Kathy Kostelnik, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Wow. Love this. Thank you!

  2. Reblogged this on Artsy Wanderer and commented:
    very sweet post

  3. What a lovely tribute to Kathy’s eyebrow’s. She continues to be in my prayers.

  1. Pingback: No Fault In Our Star | Molly B and Me

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