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  • Melissa Bode

A walk in my mothers shoes….



Given that it’s Mothers Day, I thought it would be fitting to share a story about my amazing mum. Let me take you right back to the beginning….

My mum has always been hard working, taking pride in absolutely everything she does. She started her career way back when she was 17 years of age. She worked at many different furniture places, Knights furniture, Taminga Furniture and then Marshal Furniture. She would work full time and most of the time even bring paper work home to do, just to get it all done.

Every single job mum as been in she has always excelled. Even to the point at her current job she retired and then they asked her back because they couldn’t find anyone to do her job as well as she did. I always remember as a child mum being in the furniture business and my dad running his own flooring business. We always had access to so much stuff to completely deck a house out. It was great and so handy!

Mum was the only girl out of 4 brothers. Being in an ethnic family, women were taught to do what women were ‘suppose’ to do, and that was cook and clean. She helped my nonna with all the house chores, cooking and cleaning for the family most nights. In an Italian house, there are very strict rules and tradition that you stick to. Luckily mum having married a German, my dad; we have grown up European but an Aussie version.

It wasn’t until her late 20’s that my mum met my dad, fell in love and soon after got married. My parents have been married for nearly 40 years! They have been such good role models throughout my life. Then we came into the picture. There is my older sister Alicia, who is 16 months a part from me, and my younger sister Tanya, who is also 16 months a part from me. Safe to say it was a busy time. We were all really close growing up and still even closer today.

Mum dedicated most of her life to looking after us three girls. Giving up her time to take us all to basketball, school and social outings. Not to mention, most of the time we were all playing at different stadiums and she would run around from place to place every week. She was never late, we never missed a game or training and her organization skills were next level. She was our biggest fan and taught us the true meaning of commitment, never letting us give up and always encouraging us to push through at times when we wanted to quit. This is one of the best qualities about my mum, she is extremely reliable and very organized, which as I’ve gotten older have realize how important these qualities are in someone.

Mum has always been the rock of our family. The one you go to for the final decisions or if we ever had to borrow money when we were growing up. I remember as a kid-asking dad for something and him always saying ‘go and ask your mother.’ That’s one thing I admire about my parents looking back. They were always a team. Not once did the other go against what the other one said, it was like an unspoken rule that whatever decision mum made was the final.

Both of my parents together were some of the hardest working people I knew. Growing up with this and being taught what hard work looks like, has been a big part of what shaped me growing up and the success I have achieved in my life.

Speaking of hard work, my mum would work full time, take us to all our basketball games, take us to all our trainings, cook dinner every night, make sure the house was always immaculate, run the house hold and then she would bring work home with her and work until all hours of the night. I actually look back and I wonder how she ever did all of that then and had 3 kids at the time.

Then one day it finally all caught up with her. It was 2005 and my mum got alopecia. For those of you reading who may not know what that is, it is a condition that causes hair to fall out in small patches, which can be unnoticeable. The patches may connect, however, and then become noticeable. The condition develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss. It can occur on the scalp, and in some cases the eyebrows, eyelashes, and face, as well as other parts of the body. It can also develop slowly and recur after years between instances. Researches don’t know the exact cause of the condition, but generally it is triggered by stress.

I remember I was in year 12 and a girl in my year was also going through something similar. I would hear people say things about her in the schoolyard and my heart would break for her. I knew exactly what effect it was having on her and what she was going through because I was going through it with my mum at home. Mum would sit in the lounge and get dad to apply the steroid cream onto her bald spots at the back of her head. It eventually got so bad that mum had to wear thick headbands to cover all her hair loss at the front. It actually brings me to tears, even as I write this and remember how it was back then and how we all felt completely helpless at the fact that we didn’t know what to do. This lasted for 7 years.

Her job was stressful along with the amount of expectations and pressures placed on her in her day to day life. It was a never-ending job of running the household. I see people in my chair day-to-day take on way too much. I’m guilty of this myself but its pressure placed on ourselves most of the time casing us to want to be better, do better and feel guilty if we haven’t done something someone has expected of us.

Her hair wasn’t getting any better and something had to change. It had been years since she was living like this and it was only getting worse. It wasn’t until Alicia and myself started to manage at a few salons down south that mum’s hair started to take a turn for the better. There was a range we were using at the time (and still do) called Trichovedic. John cook is a hair and scalp doctor who perfected different shampoos for each type of hair. There was one shampoo in the range called hair and scalp shampoo that has a peppermint smell to it. It is said to stimulate the scalp to create hair growth. So when we heard of it, we got mum onto it straight away. Safe to say this was one of the main things that had to change in order for her hair to take the turn. Health is such an important factor in the way our hair feels, grows and looks. Healthy hair is also born through the health of our bodies, the way we live our lifestyles and also the way we look after it and the products we use.

Not long after Alicia and I opened our own salon, although mums hair was getting better, her health took another turn for the worst. Originally, they diagnosed my mum with cancer. Still to this day they don’t know what it is. It affects her skin, her energy and she has to get regular check ups and take medication daily. I remember coming home one day, before I knew any of this, sitting on the lounge with mum and asking her if she was ok. She seemed off and not like herself. She brushed it aside, like she always does and said there was nothing wrong. I knew in my gut something was wrong so I persisted in asking her over and over until she told me. My parents have always tried to shelter us from bad things. I understand the reasoning now and that they didn’t want us to worry and only tried to protect us.

She told me that day that she was sick. She then continued to tell me that the doctor had given her 6 months to live. My heart sank, my eyes watered and I burst into tears. It couldn’t be true, I didn’t want to believe it, it wasn’t real. I didn’t know how to feel. I would go to work and wouldn’t be able to concentrate. We’d just opened our business at the time and I honestly look back and wonder how we even kept it together. I remember walking into the kitchen one morning and my dad was crying. He gathered all 3 of us in the kitchen, his eyes streaming with tears but also trying to keep it together, while he told us that we needed to stick together. That we are ahead for some uncertain times, and we need to start preparing because we didn’t know how long we had with her. It was the worst day of my life. I felt like my world was falling a part and I didn’t know what to do.

Eventually mums health got better. They still don’t know what is wrong with her to this day. She went to a number of different doctors trying to find some answers, but no one knew. The best feeling was knowing that she was getting better, whatever they were doing, she was getting better and it was working.

After a while mums hair grew back completely and she started to feel herself again. She had quit the job she was at, took a year off and had started to semi recovered from being sick. Her hair was thick, luscious and full again. I can’t stress enough how important your health is and how important your time is.

A woman’s hair is everything to her. No matter what a woman is going through, if they have beautiful hair it makes them feel a million times better. I know this because I have had so many women sit in my chair and tell me this over the last 15 years of being in this industry and having experienced it first hand with my beautiful mum. Looking after women and teaching them how to do their hair is the most rewarding part about my career. I would not trade that feeling for anything when you know you have made a difference in someone’s life. We taught mum how to style her hair, what other products to use and it helped that we had completely changed the direction of our business to being a clean air salon.

Knowing all of this and going through this experience, has been one of the things to date that had been my drive to create the insider healthy hair secrets bundle. It is something everything woman needs to change her life and how she feels about herself and her hair; something so unique that it will impact women on a global scale. It is proven and obvious to me over the years, that there is a huge gap in hairdressing industry and education to clients. I want to teach, empower and inspire women all over the world to look after not only their health but their hair, as this is one of the biggest factors to a woman feeling great about herself.

So I would like to dedicate this blog to the most amazing woman I know, my mum. You are the most selfless, kind, reliable woman I know and always put your family first. You have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. You are my rock, I love you mum.

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