I spent two weeks without laughing.
My lower right side radiated so much pain over a 3-5 month span, that in my final weeks before being rushed to the hospital, I could not laugh, walk, or eat with ease.
I spent seven hours in the ER.
My mother was seconds away from taking me home, but by the grace of God, the nurse persuaded her otherwise to wait just a little longer for the results.
Time fluctuated and so did my voice.
“ Will I be okay?”
“ We can’t promise anything, but I will try my best.”
I’ll try my best. I cried. Trying his best was beyond his power, if it was my time to go it was my time. I can’t tell you that I settled comfortably with the thought of death, but I can tell you that I surrendered myself to the possibility. My grandfather placed his heavy hand on my head and prayed over me.
I held on for as long as I could, because if she believed, if she had faith, then I could channel that strength.
“I’m going to be okay right? I’m going to be okay?” I took my mother’s hand and let her cradle my face in her small palms as I filled them with tears. I used to do this when I was younger, I’d take her hand and place my small cheek into her palm before I fell asleep, telling her that if I could, I would keep her there forever. I held on for as long as I could, because if she believed, if she had faith, than I could channel that strength.
I spent 5 hours in surgery.
74% of the world dies from a ruptured appendix, only 1 % in the U.S contracts chronic appendicitis and the human body can only sustain the infection for 36 hours before it starts to shut down. My body sustained itself for two weeks, it created a mucus barrier to catch the bacteria-laden pus from inside the appendix that would have eventually oozed out into the rest of my abdomen. If it were not for this miracle, it would have infected my blood, killing me.
My scar, for a little while represented life, and as a coping mechanism, to get used to having the mark of life permanently etched into my skin, I showed it to people. The responses were not always comforting. They’d recommend creams to lighten the scar, faces contorted in disgust just to tell me to cover it. It was not visually appealing. I allowed people to sway my views. Something that should always feel beautiful, started to feel ugly. I don’t want to live the rest of my life ashamed of my BEAUTIFUL scar. Toushai, the beautiful soul who agreed to paint my body, worked with me on deciding the basis of the theme. I fell in love with Kintsugi, a Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer. It encompassed an understanding that the piece becomes more beautiful after having been broken. The black represents darkness, the gold represents the cracks and light that seep through, and the flowers are life.
My scar, for a little while represented life, and as a coping mechanism, to get used to having the mark of life permanently etched into my skin, I showed it to people.
No one, and understand when I say NO ONE should sway you to ever think that there is some sort of standard of beauty. One day, I looked in the mirror at my naked body and saw my own face contort into disgust. How could I look at this strong standing vessel with disgust? I am living. At the end of every day, that is what matters. Embrace yourself. Hug the form you were given. From darkness there is light, from light there is life.