Over the past few months, I have been interacting somewhat constantly with loss. Not the permanent kind of loss that death brings, but temporary versions—of friends, of opportunities, of time.
The stages of these losses have been throwing me constant curveballs. Most days, if my mind and body are occupied elsewhere (like playing Frisbee—I just joined Smith’s Ultimate team!!), I can pretty much forget entirely the chunk of myself that is missing. I feel whole, so much so that I can jump high without looking to where I’ll land, saying an enthusiastic “yes!” to questions I don’t know the answers to.
But other days, unfortunately like today, when the factors shift ever so slightly, a switch, that try as I might I cannot find, is flicked. A chute is opened and my stomach plummets at break-neck speed down to my knees. And there it rests, in the uncomfortable sharp bends of my legs, poked every so often by large and lonely pieces of titanium, of bone.
The knee-area is not a place that my stomach enjoys. It’s not used to being so far from its comforts, and complains loudly and with so much gusto that my mind is unable to focus on much else.
I turn into that needy, insecure version of myself that we all have and are all ashamed of.
But through it all, there is that one section of my brain—the strong and weathered part—that remembers what the light at the end of the tunnel looks like. While the rest of me is clinging desperately to blurry memories of warmth and comfort, this part whips into action, grasping at straws of hope, collecting enough of them to weave together a delicate rope. When the rope is finished, this beautifully grayed Captain Call of my brain, without whom I would drown in sorrow, will pass it down carefully--past my heart, my lungs, my empty abdomen-- to my stomach, who will crawl, hand-over-hand, past the femur, the hips, back to its cozy belly-button home.