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.
I agree with all of the above comments. Life would be pretty sad if we didn’t continue to grow and change, which I am most certain you have done and would have done regardless of the surgery. And, yes, you have done an “amazing ” job of the entire process. Bravo for you….plus…I would love you even if you changed into a Goth, head-banging acid rocker, with a ton of body piercings, etc, etc. (You get the picture.) ….much love to all 5 of you!
I did not know you “before”. I’ve only gotten to know the after – a delightful young woman with an art of expressing herself so well through words and photos. Better or worse? Same or not? What difference does it make?
Thank you Marlene, I appreciate your support! Wishing you well.
Better or worse…don’t think so…the question should be “how amazing am I since my surgery totally amazing or ridiculously amazing?” still a toss up. You have touched the lives of so many and inspired so many…you are in one word..AMAZING!
Thank you Val. Thinking of you and your family often and I hope we can connect this summer at the Race. Thanks for your support.
Same or not? The culmination of everything that has ever happened to us is who we become, today. Of course you are different but we are supposed to be different. Growing and learning is a life long process. We are constantly “growing up.”. The key is maintaining grace and dignity each time the universe tries to teach us a lesson. You, my dear, are the very essence of feminine grace and dignity.
weird…thats my old blog name if you were wondering who this is.
Thanks and I loved your comment and words of support.
I’m humbled by your writing. You bring me back down to Earth when I start to let the little things overwhelm me. I was upset about something a minute ago, before I read your post, but not anymore. I’m thankful for life…no matter what shape or form it takes, because it’s glorious.
Thank you and I am humbled by your comment and that my writing can do that for you. I hope you have a great day today and thank you again for your support and readership.