One Week

Today I cried over my pumpkin pancakes. I managed to walk (slowly) up the street and have breakfast in a public place with my very soon-to-be-husband. They were exceptionally yummy, but something tells me they weren't the root cause of my tears.

Those pancakes were warm and comfortable, safe. In comparison, while I am frequently warm these days, I do not feel comfortable in my skin.

One week ago today I was awaiting the results of a CAT scan that I didn't realize would change me forever. I cried, and continue to, over the loss of myself.

I realize it sounds dramatic. I have questioned frequently this past week as to whether or not what happened to me was really all that bad. Whether or not I have license to feel the way I do so strongly. I mean, I don't have cancer, a tumor, or other terminal illness. I'm apparently quite healthy and just in need of a little healing. And I'm still here, right?

Where I've landed is that it wasn't the end of the world, but it was the end of the former me. Coming close to  "decomposing" and having the flesh of my body that I hope will one day bear me a family invaded so harshly has left me feeling wounded and scared. I'm more emotionally than physically damaged.

I don't know that I will ever be the same person I was before. I don't feel strong enough to insert myself back into my life as it was. I carry more fear and worry. In a word, I'm vulnerable.

One week from today, I'll be readying myself for walking down the aisle to marry the love of my life. It will be a slightly different version of the wedding I envisioned, and a different version of me. But it doesn't change the significance of marrying my best friend who has been by my side through this and so much more over the past eight years.

He told me this morning as I publicly cried over pancakes that this version of me is a change for the better. I'm softer, more willing to let others do, and more open with my emotions. He is a good man, and a better person. He loves me. Both of me. I'm a very lucky woman.

I suppose I agree, but I'm losing who I've been for as long as I can remember -- tough, indestructible, fiercely independent, emotionally compartmentalized. Least of all vulnerable, how insulting to even conceive the thought.

But this experience has shown me that I am not these things alone. I am not immune to pain and sadness. I hurt. I have feelings that do not want to be suppressed or comically addressed. I can't always take care of myself alone. It's not possible to be at the top of my game every day. Sometimes you have to just let go, even if it means letting go of yourself. And it's this self that I mourn.

One week from today, I'll be starting a new chapter of my life. Becoming a wife, changing my name, and embracing and learning to live as this new version of me.  Profound. Or maybe just poetic timing.

Amazing the difference one week can make.


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