Well… Not a real bully but someone that during our first meeting, I feared he would become. I remember the day…
I had walked into my Jr. High English/History class (both? yes – another story for another day). I saw the “new kid” sitting there and immediately thought he looked safe. I knew I could sit behind him because he was too new to know that I wore a wig and too new to make fun of me. New kids were safe until someone filled them in. I sat down behind him.
He turned around and the first words out of his mouth were, “Hey there Wigwam!” Seriously? His first day and someone has already told him that I wore a wig. How cruel of a person to make fun of me right out of the gate!?! I crumbled in defeat. I didn’t answer him, I just bowed my head down and tried to disappear and fight back the tears. I had gotten really good at this by now.
I didn’t realize that this was going to be a turning point in my life. This person, who I labeled as “bully,” was about to light a fire of confidence in me that would carry me to my adulthood – with just one statement. He quickly said to me (with confusion and hurt in his eyes)…
“If that’s not something you are ok with joking about – why did you let me get away with it? Don’t ever let anybody make you feel that way.” Then he said, “Look at me – you should have totally fired back with a fat joke.”
Funny Story! He gave me a word to call him and at the time (in our youth) we didn’t know it was a bad word. I would yell this word out at him in the hallway. He thought it meant overweight… it didn’t. We laughed about it a little while ago when I googled the word.
This person who spoke humor into being bald and having to wear a wig to school… This person who told me to hold my head high when people say stupid things… This person who everyone liked and I was fortunate enough to call friend…
His name is Daniel Overcash and I found out that today through Facebook that he has passed away.
This is my tribute to him. I want to speak into your life something that he spoke into mine about 25 years ago.
Never let anyone make you feel like bowing your head in shame. Never allow someone to make you want to give up. Find the laughter in life and when the moment needs it – fight back.
Thank you Daniel – you were an early inspiration that later in my life turned me into Laura Hudson – a Woman Behaving Baldly.
On behalf of every person with Alopecia who has had to deal with the hurt of being made to feel that were less than human – We salute you!
To all of you reading, thank a friend today. You may never know when it will be the last opportunity to do so.
PS: The picture on the blog post feed page for this post is a class picture from that class – unfortunately, Daniel was not in the picture. I am the girl in the pink sleeveless sweater with the really bad wig.
Blog Post by Laura Hudson – The Bald Marketer.