6 Years, 4 months, and 26 days ago I simply didn't die.
I wavered between hazy consciousness and drugged sleep, yelling at nurses that the bed was swallowing me. That I couldn't breathe. I had one good arm and that was it. My head, face, right arm and legs were damaged. I had no say in my surgeries and I went in to the OR crying, begging not to go. I woke up to a leg that would never be the same, run through with a titanium bar. "Skeletal Traction" the surgeon called it, and demanded I stop my whimpering and start forcing my muscles wake up again, to point my toes, bend my knees, flex sore muscles impaled by metal. He told me that this wasn't the end, nor the beginning of the healing. This was a pause in time, a stolen few years before my body would start to shut down the bone and I would need a replacement. How long? Who knew. "Face it, look at your wounds. Look at your new leg. Look at what you now are"
None of it was a choice.
Tomorrow is a choice. Right now I am at the base of a monstrous mountain. I havent even started, Ive merely arrived at its feet. I am looking up to the peak hidden up in the clouds and the climb seems overwhelming. The first step seems to be impossible to force myself to take, my mind screaming inside my head: "This is atrocious! This is barbaric! This is not the easiest path! Run! RUNRUNRUNRUN!"
In the days counting down to my femoral bone graft, I have thought heavily on Jasmine. Jasmine whom didn't have a bone removed and implanted further up her leg, but half her brain removed. Jasmine whom had ports in her heart, head, and belly. Jasmine who had more surgeries that I, with much less odds of survival and recovery than I have been given. Jasmine whom I never in my life saw cry a tear for anything so pitiful as an operation. My smiling Monkey, who never felt the despair and rage that I am encountering now.
Having moved to a one level apartment in preparation of 6 months of crutches, I recently unpacked Jasmine from her travel container and placed our molded hands and her precious ashes on my bureau. I've always wondered why she wouldn't let me hold her hand that day, fighting instead to hold mine in hers. Leading me. From her altar in my room she's often listened to me talk about my roughest moments. Asking for guidance. Asking for help. Asking for her match in grace.
Unfortunately I dont have the strength that child did. I have asked the nurse, no, I've BEGGED the nurse to drug me up before I ever get to the OR. I dont want to smell the antiseptic smell of that stainless steel room. I dont want to see those lights and masked faces. I want this small amnesty from the war against AVN.
Iris asked me if I was scared. I lied and told her only a little bit. I told her I was instead looking forward to being healthy and whole again so that I could chase them in the park. I told her that after all of this was done and over I wouldn't get as tired as I used to. That I wouldn't need to stop because I was in pain. That we could do REAL Yoga, without alteration, and I could sit on the floor cross-legged again.
The truth is that I am sitting outside my hotel room trying to avoid sleep and the coming of dawn. Theres a swing set below my room that I want to sit on because when the new Sun rises I will be surrendering my body to the fire.
I am the Phoenix, and when the sun has begun its decent...I will rise from the Ashes.