Warts and All:
Today I noticed a single wiry hair growing from a place on my body that was...not the usual location of such things.
I marveled at the length and texture of it, wondering how it had gone unnoticed for so long a time as to allow it to grow so long.
I marveled at my skin, that David always said was like silk, how it gathers now into wrinkles when I flex my elbow, like folds of crepe fabric. How blemishes (read:pimples) still make unwelcome appearances on my face. How my nails have thinned and become softly flexible and fragile now. How my hair, once wavy, has become a toss of curls that surprise and delight me since I can now rise from my bed and run my fingers through it and look reasonably presentable.
I wince at my hip as I attempt to walk unassisted from here to there....now beset with a sizable limp as the arthritis damaged bone grinds against bone in an attempt to perform what has been its normal function for over 70 years now.
I see now through eyes that have seen many things and are sinking with the weight of all the light that has entered them in shapes both familiar and unknown.
David accepted me as I was.
Don't get me wrong, we had our moments of frustration and pain as we learned to polish the rough spots into the smoother flow of love beyond the superficial. Every relationship has those. Some were more significant than others....
However, and I smile deep into my being remembering this, whenever I would complain of my aging, or weight gain, or what I saw as my flaws, David would say, with constancy, "Have you ever heard me complain about your body?"
No....I never did.....not once.
It was....and is...a lesson in self-acceptance.
Here is the sticking point of all of this....
When our person is gone...
we grieve that there will never be another who will accept us as we are....
We judge ourselves and fear the judgement of others.
So sneaky are those pointy quills of personal doubt, that we have difficulty realizing that they are internal and go on to assume that others will see what we notice with microscopically intense self judgement.
Almost as though we are back in middle school...suffering the inevitable picayune teasings of our classmates as we all are struggling our way into adulthood.
We see ourselves as only capable of being truly seen and accepted by that person now gone...be it child or parent or friend or sibling or spouse.
This is a new awareness around grief for me. Or....I noticed it before...but it was out of focus.
By no means do I suggest or imagine that this is true for all.
I'm simply uncovering more of what this vast and unknown territory of the Life yet unlived is seeing about the Life that is no longer.
Here am I
Warts...long strange hairs...and all.