A kiss last week. Just a kiss in the kitchen. Nothing more and nothing less.
While the boys pretended to vomit and laugh, they watched Paul and I in a moment we’ve repeated thousands of times throughout our relationship.
However, it was the first time I’d ever paused to consider what, if anything, was different. Not different about us, but different about me.
In the nearly four nears since my surgery I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked what, if anything was different after surgery.
My brain, the all-encompassing heart of what defines everything about who I am, how I feel and act had been permanently altered. I’d trusted and consented for skilled hands to remove a portion of it and I’d never paused to consider that who I was, how I thought and how I acted may or may not have changed enough for others to take notice.
I’ve been living for nearly four years post surgery trusting that by in-large, I was essentially the same because that’s how I’d viewed myself.
I’ve had to consider now how accurate that assumption has been.
I wonder if an invisible dance has been going on around me that I never sensed.
I wonder if what I considered minor have actually been glaring differences.
I wonder when Paul looks at me if he sees the same wife and mother and if my friends, ones who knew me before all this, see the same pain in the ass friend? Is the post 8.18.08 version different?
Why had I never considered this and why had I never asked “Do you think I’ve changed?… Do you see any differences in me?”
Why has this obvious logic been so fleeting? Did this logical thought process just recently grow back in my brain?
Same or different in the eyes of those around me, the person who emerged as I woke up on August 18, 2008 is familiar enough to me that I guess I never allowed myself to consider what, if anything that defined who I was, had been lost in the eyes of those around me.
Whether I am, or am not the same wife and friend, I’m humbled and grateful that Paul has embraced, appreciated and loved the whole of who I am today without lamenting the past.
While the question may not have occurred to me until now, it’s obvious that the answer is irrelevant.
For those who’ve stood by and accepted the same or different, better or worse whole of me (minus a portion of my brain), I’m grateful and humbled that you’ve never said a word one way or another.