Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Love Letter to My Body

This was a challenge from an online magazine that I read called SheLoves.  I read my friend's letter to her body and couldn't help but write one myself.  It's a pretty incredible thing to separate yourself and think of your body as an independent, feeling being.  What would you tell your body if you had the chance?

We have been through so much in the past year.  We’ve spent our lives together, but never had we had to endure such hardship.  I am so proud of you.   You have been courageous and strong.  I haven’t always treated you the best; I could have cared for you better which would have made you even stronger through this journey.  That is my shortcoming.  If there is one thing that I want from all these tough times, it’s a renewed relationship with you.  I have a new appreciation and understanding of you.  I want to eat the right things, I want to be flexible and build muscle.  I want you to feel good.  You will never look the same again.  You bore a child, nursed her, went through surgery and chemotherapy.  There is no going back.  The scars are there.  I look on them with pride.  I used to look on them as ugly marks on a beautiful canvas.  Now I see them for what they are: battle wounds, experience, a story.  They are the living proof of what we’ve been through together.  They tell the story of our battles and our experiences.  How can I look sourly on the scar that birthed my baby?  The same scar from which death and disease was taken from my body?  The two small scars that saved my life; beautiful marks from a wonderful, talented woman who stepped into my life that fateful day?  So many stories.  So many lives affected by you.  
You have been an example to so many, an inspiration.  Some say it is me that is the inspiration.  I say it is you.  If you weren’t so strong, I don’t know how I would have made it through chemotherapy.  I don’t know how I would have held up if you had crumbled under the pressure.  It was and is hard for me to watch you go through the process.  Hair falling out, nails cracked and bumpy, skin falling apart and splitting.  You have been dying through this process, yet you still stay strong for me.  I can’t thank you enough for that.  
I have always been proud of you.  I remember asking my sister if she could see the curve of my hips as you slowly developed into a woman’s form.  I loved the look of the curves, soft, supple, feminine.  I was so excited for you to transform.  It was a slow process.  I would often envy the breasts and the curves that all the other girls seemed to have while you remained flat and somewhat shapeless.  I wasn’t always patient, but you did grow into what I have always thought was a desirable shape.  Still, I had insecurities.  I didn’t always look on you fondly.  Too much fat around the bottom, not enough around the bosom.  Flabby arms, thick ankles, cellulite.  All the nit picky details that no one really ever notices unless pointed out.  I should have loved you for what you were and are.  I should have known by the way people looked at you that I was being silly.  I am still guilty of that silliness.  There have been so many changes in the last few years.  I miss your flexibility, doing gymnastics and dancing.  I miss your muscular strength.  I miss my perky breasts and tight skinned stomach.  I miss these things, but also know that some can be remedied and those that cannot are a right of passage into a different page of our story.  
There have been many pages written, many stages where I didn’t treat you properly or respect you as much as I should have.  The one thing that I am incredibly thankful for is that you are still with me.  We survived.  We have come out on the other side of a huge physical battle and we are victorious!  I congratulate you; I congratulate us.  You have taken the brunt of this battle.  You are still overcoming some symptoms, but I know, together, that we will grow stronger.  I look forward to many years shared with you.  I am so excited for gravity to continue to have it’s affect on you and for more scars that tell our story.  It is an honour and a privilege to grow old and I will cherish every wrinkle and crease knowing that our time together is precious.  

Love Always,