The years have not lessened the heart break of losing their grandfather to cancer, but two young sisters have found a way to ease their pain and help others at the same time.
Since Gordie Hall Sr. passed away in 2009, grand daughters Brooke, 10, and Kierra, 7, have twice donated a portion of their long blonde locks to the Canadian Cancer Society.
According to their mother Tanya Hall, the girls initially decided to cut their hair on the first anniversary of her father’s passing.
“They were very close to him and they called him Papa,” said Tanya.
“He actually helped raise them. I’m a single mom and he would look after them when I went to work and he was a very big part of their lives.
“Even to this day it is very tough for them but I think this (donating) helps at least a little bit.”
Hall was 67 when he died.
When asked why she decided to cut her hair, Kierra, replied, “I would not want to be bald so I wanted to help someone who is. I want to give it to some little girl or young lady who has cancer.”
Sister Brooke added, “We started to cut our hair because my Auntie Laureen (Youssefi (Hall) was going to do it and we thought that it was a really neat idea. I wanted to give my hair to someone who needs it more than we do.”
According to mom, the girls’ selflessness is not something new, nor is it out of character.
“Since kindergarten, my girls have picked a charity to donate to and for their birthdays they asked their friends to donate money for their charity,” said Tanya.
“They have chosen the SPCA, Penticton hospital and the food bank.
“I am so proud of them. They both have very big hearts and they are always thinking of others before themselves.”
She used to love watching the interaction between her father and daughters, whether it was on driving trips in search of water slides or boating adventures.
“Even the different types of food, they would say, ‘I want it Papa’s way or I want Papa’s salad dressing,’” said Tanya whose father held each of the girls just seconds after they were born.
“He is still very much a part of their lives.”
The sisters also remember their Papa as a very special person.
“We would go camping, he would make lunches for us, such as cheese sandwiches and chicken teriyaki noodles.
“All his friends would teach us very important things like how to eat french fries and ketchup without getting too messy,” said Brooke.
“Our Papa loved our long hair.
“When we would have it braided he would grab it and pretend it was the reins to a horse and say, ‘giddy up.’”
Kierra simply said: “He was my best friend. We would call each other ‘Best Buds.’ We love him very much and miss him in every day.”
Both girls agreed giving of themselves by donating some hair every few years is a very small way to remember a person who meant so much to them, but an important way of helping someone else very special.