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Kelly J. Stigliano
Inspirational Speaker and Author
Orange Park, United States
I’m Kelly J. Stigliano. My husband, Jerry and I enjoy life in Orange Park, FL. A blended family, we have five grown children, a son-in-law, and two granddaughters. They live across the land and in England!
I grew up in a small northeastern Ohio town and was a rebellious teenager. Within a five-year period, I moved through the statistics of being a pregnant, teen bride, abused spouse, and single parent.
Although I learned about Jesus as a child in Sunday school, I met Him personally as a broke and broken single mother of two sweet, but rowdy preschoolers. We watched God meet our needs day after day.
Growing in a new relationship with Jesus Christ, I had enough faith to enroll my daughter in a Christian school. I wasn’t sure how I’d pay the tuition but knew that’s what the Lord wanted me to do, so I obeyed. That’s where I met Jerry, her handsome, single principal.
He asked me out in November and we were married the following November. We’d each been divorced, so getting married was another step of faith. All statistics say a second marriage like ours shouldn’t work, but I’m happy to report that we have celebrated over 30 wedding anniversaries!
God teaches me lessons and I write about them so, hopefully, we can all learn together. No one benefits when we wear masks, so I try to stay transparent. I like to say that everyone has skeletons in their closets, but my closets have no doors on them!
Imagine My Horror! I was running late. The mornings I didn't have to go to work, always seemed more hurried than usual. I quickly applied my make-up and, within ten minutes, was heading to my dental appointment. I thought a traffic light was a safe place to search for any make-up flaws. As I slowed to a halt in the line of cars, I pulled the sun visor down to look in the mirror. Then it caught my eye. A gray hair—no, three of them! Beside my left eye, at the temple, were three white hairs. I pulled them up; I pulled them down; I tugged them to the side. Surely it was just the sun glistening off my golden blond hair. The light was green. Shock and disbelief dominated my thinking as I blindly followed in the line of cars to the next stoplight. Again I pressed the brake deep into the floor as I slapped the visor mirror down. There could only be one thing worse than finding gray hairs on the left side of my head. Holding my breath, I slowly looked beside my right eye. Four gray hairs—shining brightly like beacons in the sunlight. No, it can't be! This can't be happening to me! I am blond—I do not get gray hairs! Having always looked younger than I was, the thought of aging had never occurred to me. It just hadn't. I'd gone along in bliss, ignorant to the inevitable. Now at forty-one years old the reality was slapping me across the face; across the temples to be exact. As I glared into the mirror I kept moving my head from side to side, up and down. I waited to see if the gray hairs would suddenly turn blond, but no, they wouldn't change. Imagine my horror! Again, a green light. For the next two lights I yanked at the hair at my temples—my temples! Men get gray at the temples. It looks good on them. I'm sure by now the driver behind me realized I was in a crisis. He honked his horn, signaling the light was green. “This can't be happening,” I said to myself as I grabbed my cell phone. My husband was unavailable so I left a message. “Jerry, I'm gray! Call me!” I had to lament to someone. I called my brunette coworkers to share this terrible news. “Betsy, I have gray hair!” I wailed. “You what?” Betsy recognized my voice but had never heard such urgency in its tone. “I have gray hair! I was just at a stop light and I have gray hair! Seven of them!” I could hear Betsy yell to our thirty-year-old co-worker Stephanie, “It's Kelly. She says she found seven gray hairs!” Then I heard her laugh, “Yeah, she's freakin' out!” Turning her attention back to the phone, Betsy said calmly, “It's because of the stress you've been under lately, Kelly.” “Will they go away when my stress goes away, Bets?” I implored. “No. You'll just get more.” “Gee, thanks Betsy!” To add to my anguish, Stephanie informed me that she had more than seven gray hairs in her pubic area alone. You get gray there, too? That certainly didn't make me feel any better. I tossed my phone into my purse. “How come no one ever told me these things?” I muttered. Those seven gray hairs – The Beacon Seven – were becoming a menace and clouded my thinking. I parked my car and numbly walked into the dentist's office. As I lay back in his examining chair, my hair fell straight back. He positioned the bright light over my face, and for a split second I was sure I saw a look of alarm and repugnance in the eyes of the dentist and his assistant, as they were no doubt shocked by the Beacon Seven. Ashamed, I didn't dare mention them. Obviously these professionals had learned to hide their disgust of such matters. Still, I'm sure they were amazed that someone so terribly youthful—and blond—as I, could have these Seven, mocking gray hairs. Yes, they were staring. I was sure of it. On my way home I kept going over my options. For years I had smugly said that I would dye my hair red, if I ever got gray hair. Then it hit me. I am not getting gray hairs! No! Those Seven are just God-given platinum blond hairs filling in my natural ash and honey blond streaks. Yes, just platinum. They are the Platinum Seven. What a relief! No, blonds do not get gray hair. I didn't think so.
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