Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dear God,

I've been moving around this planet for 56 years; an ant among ants, one little cell in the body Earth; a single part and player....your child.

Last week, I went to the hospital and had my uterus removed; They just went in there with Star Wars robotic arms and evicted her. It was such an odd and inhospitable thing for a hospital to do; yet it had to be.

I woke up at 4am the morning of the surgery, heavy with the realization of it. Steeped in wondering and a little worry, I went to the bathroom and stood naked in front of the mirror one more time. I took a good long time and was fairly transfixed by the honest accounting. There she was, my  sweet, old body; better preserved than some, a lot more worn than many, I suspect. Gravity was evident, but I still had some brazen tan lines and if I squinted, I didn't look as old as all that....

There she soul's vessel,  vehicle,  cup. I thought as I looked, "This will be the last few hours I will move whole and un-blemished," without a mark from the the "living" which has been done.

Not true though.

I began to see it. My C section scar-where Chris came wriggling and stretching into the world. It looked like a small "eternally knowing" smile. Looking on that scar, I was transported back to the moment they laid him in my shaking arms and I fell in love with him. It seems to say to me now, "See? wasn't having that boy a great idea?"

A broken fingertip from carrying cardboard boxes full of Lunchables up the stairs on Mackenzie's 5th grade field trip; I remember my finger throbbed all night, which allowed me to sit up in bed and notice how exquisitely beautiful she was as she laid there next to me in that hotel room, caramel-colored hair splayed across her pillow....

Little white scars on my shins that have always looked like tiny minnows underwater. Many times perch have tried to nibble them as I snorkeled. These were proudly attained when my brother Sonny and I played "Chicken" involving sharpened bamboo spears, and one still unsettling incident with a Black Cat firecracker and a coke bottle.

He also broke my nose when I was 11, which doesn't show, but is great fun to remind him of every time we drink together.....

And there is the grand scar on my knee from the day when a skinny 8 year old girl thought it would be interesting to try to shave her legs with Dad's wood plane. I didn't have a speck of hair on my legs, so I have no idea why I wanted to do that.

All of these little tattoos are snapshots of a life lived. All are moments of love and remembrance. All are precious to me. In that naked-in-front-of-the-mirror moment I was reminded by you, God, that I do love my body. It is a great and wondrously-made thing. She has run me 1000's of miles up and down my ranch road by now, past cows and coyotes and rabbits and cedar trees; carried me all about the world, to God-knows-where-all with so many people that I love so well.

She has been a trooper. A good soldier.

I love this particular body; it suits me. I am tall,  allowing me to throw back my shoulders brazenly, when in reality, I was withering with grief and uncertainty inside from some life tragedy.

I have strong legs and hips, which means I was good for having three beautiful babies....and my boobs are not too big.....a blessing and curse, I guess.

Thank you God for these old hands that have so often held another's;
touched babies' cheeks;
held paintbrushes;
examined trees and rocks, puppies and books;
seashells and insects;

For my eyes that have gazed upwards at cathedrals and art;
mountains and comets;
Looked down lovingly on tear-stained cheeks, and 4th grade essays;
They've seen so many, many beautiful things,
and keenly spotted a sticker that needed to be removed from a little pink foot.

I appreciate my ears, by the way.
As  Kurt Vonnegut said, " Music is all the proof I need of a loving God."
But also because I can hear the sighs of my dogs, and even the almost inaudible nuances of
love, pain, fear, and joy in the people I love.

And thank you God for my mind;
for the ceaseless wondering and thinking I have done.......

For every time my head pitched back in laughter at something absurd and irreverent.

For my exceptional imagination and desire that has helped me (sometimes) lose (and always) rediscover You.

In front of this mirror naked, tummy pooching a little, my vanity does sting. Its easy to want my body whole, young, beautiful, unblemished again, but if life has taught me anything, it has taught me this.....there is always some better thing ahead.  You do seem to have given me a great conciliation prize. You have given me another person with whom to cross this new threshold.

I get to feel another set of arms around me besides my own strong ones; another voice in the dark when I am scared. My body rests a bit knowing finally there is someone else there who can share the load that living inevitably offers.

And on this thought I found I could rest a bit.