I met Vicki in October 1992. We were both judges in the first Elvis Fantasy Fest to raise money for Special Olympics. We developed a friendship right away and since she owned her own hair salon (Victoria's Hair Affair), and I was looking for a new hair stylist, I started going to her. She would always tell me she enjoyed doing my hair because I would change my styles often and she loved that I wasn't afraid to try new things. After going to her for so many years, she knew exactly what I wanted. I always loved our conversations and wanted the appointment to drag out because it was more like a therapy session. We were together thru so many stages in our lives, from our kids growing up, weddings, babies, illness and so many other events. I can always remember leaving her salon feeling more pretty than when I walked in. She made sure every hair was perfect. She eventually moved out of her salon into her home to set up her shop.
I will never forget the start of her illness. I walked in her home for my appointment and the shop area was dark. I thought at first she wasn't home. I walked in the shop area and she had her head down in her hands on her desk. She said she was so sorry, she couldn't do my hair, but she was having a really bad migraine headache. I told her it was no problem and I wanted her to feel better. She insisted on getting her appointment book out to reschedule, but I told her not to worry about that, and told her to call me when she felt better. She had a person there that was going to give her a massage. I patted her back and told her to get well.
Within the next few days I get a call from her daughter, who is also a hair stylist. She was in tears, telling me that her mom was in so much pain that her doctor sent her to Chicago for tests and found a brain tumor on each side of her brain. She would need surgery.
Vicki told her daughter to call me to have me come in for her daughter to cut my hair that week. This is the type of person she was. She cared more about me missing my appointment and getting taken care of. So, I went in and her daughter, Lisa, cut my hair. We cried and talked about her mom who was facing a difficult surgery. The road ahead was very very rocky. Vicki went through the brain surgery but they had to leave one of the tumors. She went through radiation and then later chemo. Her daughter and sister shaved their heads in support of what Vicki was going through. Then as if this wasn't bad enough, she fell and broke her foot, developed cancer on her back, leg and tailbone.
I will never forget during all of this, asking Vicki what she had a taste for. I named over things and she said she loved potato soup. So I rushed home to make her a huge pot and took it to her. She said it really hit the spot and tasted so good. I tried to send her cards of encouragement often. I didn't know what else to do except pray. I was watching this beautiful person change looks every time I would go in for my appointments, with now her daughter.
I prayed so hard for God to heal her. She didn't deserve this. I wanted my Vicki back. My hair missed her.
Then last Saturday I heard from my mom, who has her hair done by Vicki's sister, that it was a matter of time and she was slipping away. I had to rush over to her house to at least let her family know I was praying and to see if they needed anything. She passed away 3 hours later. At the funeral home, as I was hugging her daughter, she told me that her moms wishes were for her to carry on with her business and keep it going. I was thrilled. She told me to call her at the end of the week and book my appointment. I will continue walking in Vicki's warm home and sitting down in the same chair. Even though she will not be there, I'm sure we will feel her warm spirit. I am now feeling more at peace, knowing that Vicki is out of pain. Life goes on and I'm thankful that her daughter will full fill her wishes.