Photograph by my mom while at my side as I recovered from my ASD closure or open heart surgery. Text by me, January 2018. This occasion is not the first time that I have been pushed to ask myself what my condition means to me, but I can say that this is the first time I have held such a simple and profound answer to a question which had long made me miserable and insecure.
These traumas do not come without discomfort in readdressing. But I am lucky. The fact that I am able to share I treat as a responsibility because I know that nothing good comes without being uncomfortable -- just like my past surgeries have done for me. I thought for so long that they were done to me and against me and I was a casualty of a twisted world.
Words are fundamentally incapable of duplicating these experiences, or at least I cannot use them well enough to convey the impact of these experiences. And so, I have been nothing if not lucky and am so grateful to now know that although my body is scarred and lies outside the norm, my symbolic pair-- hands and heart -- are the very things which have defined me and have been gifts of immeasurable value and worthiness..and love. Most of all love.