I stand in front of the mirror, naked, looking at myself.
Who is this woman with the mounds of flesh that cover her bones? Where are the hip bones that once protruded, a marker that defined success?
Where is that svelte body with the long, tanned legs that drew the eye upward to those protruding hip bones and flat stomach?
The body that wore a tiny black bikini or the short, very short skirts. Where is that body now? Why is it hiding?
Is it hiding? Or is this body wearing a lifetime.
I look at the flesh in the mirror and I see a crisscross of scars. A roadmap of my life. The doctors, not knowing what salmonella was, cutting my stomach open to explore. The ectopic pregnancy that required emergency surgery. The emergency c-section that delivered my son.
Each scar represents life. My life. My son's life.
I gaze now upon this body of flesh. I see my two babies growing in my womb. I smile as I reflect on the beautiful men they have become. They started here, inside of me. I cherish this thought more than any other and I thank my body.
My gaze blurs. I see a shape. The shape undulates.
I hear the quiet of my breath. I feel the beating of my heart.
I am here. I am alive. In this moment I AM.
Deborah Cort - 2023