Overwhelmed is a word I probably use too often; when I’m packing for a long trip, or cleaning out my junk drawer, or every damn time I assemble a piece of Ikea furniture. But it’s the only word I could use to describe how I felt leaving the Hive With Heart event at City of Hope. The strange part though, was that I didn’t feel overwhelmed in the way I expected to. I’ll admit that in the days leading up to it I was nervous about spending the day with a group of women who were facing such critical illness. Would I be the idiot who blubbered her way through every introduction, mumbling about bravery and adversity and things about which I have been lucky enough to know truly nothing? Or would I be stricken and helpless, feeling awkward during the event and depressed afterward? The beautiful thing about that day and about The Lipstick Angels program is that no one can seem to stop grinning.
The environment that these “Angels” create call to mind something akin my middle school sleepovers. Everyone is chatting and laughing and trying out different looks. In this particular room that includes hearing lines like “Just wait til I get one of my wigs on, then I’ll really look great.” And I’ll be damned if she doesn't deliver that line with all the sass of Mae West.
Burt’s Bees has set up the most glorious looking stations of every lip color they produce, a veritable Pick & Mix of lip gloss. I start running around telling everyone to grab a tinted balm in “Sweet Violet” (my personal favorite) before they run out, as though this group could possibly go through these insane piles of goodies.
Some of the women are too ill to leave their beds and the Angels go to them. When I go to visit these women there is one room that we are told we cannot enter because a test has just shown that she can’t risk having anyone who is not hospital staff in the room. However we drop off some goodies and the nurse holds open the door for me to wave hello. The lovely lady inside shouts out “How much do we love Burt’s Bees!?”
Well ma’am, we love them a lot. Their focus on natural products make for an intuitive partnership with this program. They bring natural beauty to people everyday, including me, so it makes perfect sense that they would be trusted in this environment.
Join me and be a part of Hive With Heart, too.