What I see in the mirror is beginning to look familiar. Things still change day-to-day as healing takes place and will continue to for months yet. It may be that I come to a place where this new body looks and feels like mine. I hope that my scars will cease to be my focal point–that maybe they will become normal and acceptable to me.
While I’m sure I will adapt to the “new me,” one thing is certain. What I see in the mirror will never be natural. No matter how wonderfully skilled my surgeons are, no matter how complete the healing is, what I see in the mirror will be something manufactured–contrived.
Believe me, I am grateful for the leaps and bounds made by medical science. I am not complaining or fearful of my end result. I am simply looking objectively at the situation and seeing it for what it is.
When my “before” pictures arrived from the plastic surgeon, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The chest that I have had for 48 years looked familiar, yet foreign. That’s not what’s there anymore. What used to be there was showing signs of wear and tear and nearly half a century of age. Even so, that’s what I was comfortable with. It was natural. Two months ago, I didn’t know things could be different.
Now, I am in the middle of a process that will result in a fair amount of regained youth. I’m not going to lie–I’m looking forward to that part. What I see in the mirror in years to come will be perfectly shaped and formed and expertly placed. And unnatural.
Forgive me if it seems crass, but I see a parallel here. I am watching in my body a process that has happened in my soul. What was natural was also faulty and wearing down. Declining and headed for decay. So it is with my old nature. Before, I was comfortable with what was present, and I didn’t know anything could be different or better.
Then I met the Great Physician. He removed the old and replaced it with what is perfect and expertly crafted. The transformation is not complete. Some days, there is pain and some days what is poor in me longs to go back to what I knew. But I can see what is to come when the process is complete. And that will be more beautiful than anything I could have imagined.