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Friday, September 6, 2013

Needed most

Just saw a story about a man who stood by his fiancee after a car accident rendered her severely disabled. Saw so many comments commending him and it really had me captivated. We aren't used to seeing such a thing - not sure why...maybe we are so self serving we forget those commitments we make. Maybe we are so entitled that hitching our wagon to a disabled horse won't work for us or maybe therapists have told us how worthy we are for so long we believe our needs are all that matter. Maybe we just can't hack it. Okay...but then what good are we? I remember being in a very disabling car accident when I was 20 and the sailor boyfriend I had at the time, left...couldn't manage me and crutches but hey, he called and checked on me which was delightful given it took me 20 mins to hobble over to the phone. No loss there I suppose. Maybe instead of asking new couples if they are truly in love with, truly amenable, truly attracted to each other, we should ask if they are willing to change bandages - through thick and thin should be a weight question, not a life question. Great that you are both on the same page with religion but what happens if he loses his legs or she loses her spirit? Can she push a wheelchair? Can he help her with a lifetime of medicine? When Joseph was told I would not only lose both my breasts but would spend two years in significant weight gain, hair loss and rashes covering my body and my mouth I looked to him for the pained face...the one that says "this wasn't in the brochure"...what I got was, well, if they wittle you down to a head, I will buy a bowling bag and carry you around with me. Creepy and romantic all rolled together. But then it happened. The morning I woke up from breast surgery I saw his face - no tears, no shock, no nothing from his eyes that said anything other than how much he missed me. With every pound I gained, he offered to gain with me through wings and beer. With every rash he tended to with awful smelling creams and gels, he told me it's kind of kinky :)...when he would freeze aloe to put over my burns from radiation, he smiled up at me and asked what else he could do. And then when my hair came out, he said he had a thing for bald women...sort of a Star Trek fetish and shaved his own head in solidarity. All 6'4 of him slept slumped over in a chair next to me after each surgery and holding the bucket while I threw up, screaming at a nurse who he felt didn't treat me appropriately (and she didn't - what a bitch) and refusing to leave the PAC U post op, where no family is allowed. Three years, seven surgeries, 11 chemo treatments and five weeks of radiation and he never once considered anything else...well if he did, he never told me. He has coaxed me into being more comfortable with the battlefield that is my chest. Scarred from collarbone to stomach, tattoos dotting the way for radiation, deep gashes and purple scars - he wants so much to hold me to them and I want so much to be anyone else at that moment. Even my recent decision to go without the fake boobs, I said to him "they stare" and he says, "Fuck 'em". So to the newlyweds...can she lose her breasts and her sanity and you will find her deep inside and hang on? Can he lose his mind or his legs and will you stand behind and beside that wheelchair? Can you two still see each other no matter what happens? Because if you can't say fuck 'em when they stare - leave now.

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