A Love Letter to my Body
I really don’t think I appreciate you, or remind you nearly enough on important matters, like how much I respect you.
This love letter is about advising you, on no uncertain terms, how much you mean to me.
You aren’t by any means 'perfect'. Airbrushed media images of 'perfect women' that pervade my everyday existence don't seem to share the custard tart-like wobbly bits, the unsightly purple, varicose veins and bumpy barnacles in random areas; you even itch in dark, private regions on the odd occasion when I’ve over-worn my sweaty gym tights (my fault I realise, but the transition from active wear to denim is sometimes overwhelming).
You see Dear Body, you’ve endured a stressful period in my life lately – and you’ve held up nicely.
You saw me through an unforeseen, emotional experience over the past 8 weeks, the final moments culminating in my Dad dying in hospital from double pneumonia.
It felt like one minute Dad was sitting up smiling and chatting to me…. 24 hours later he was put on life support due to double lung failure.
It seemingly came out of nowhere - a ‘horrific super-bug’ as advised by medical staff in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Throughout those long, long days and nights when my Dad was fighting so hard to come back to his family, I had you Dear Body, keeping me strong and holding me up.
You were with me for every tear shed and for every terrifying moment. You were constantly forgiving me for every single one of my painful heart beats that surely must have hurt you like hell.
Years ago, Dear Body, I would have abused you with copious glasses of Sav Blanc in a futile effort to numb the pain. I mean, Dad was Scottish after all, and we are known to enjoy a tipple or ten whilst dancing on top of bars to Tom Jones’ ‘Sex Bomb.’ (Note: that was me, not Dad. Okay, I know Dad would have partaken in similar activity in his lifetime.)
Surprisingly though, throughout the past couple of months, I have needed to be reminded of your physical strength more than ever before. I was obsessed with throwing my headphones on and getting you moving, whether it was running on a treadmill or lifting weights.
I recall my lungs being on fire during my work-outs as I prayed, that one day, Dad could breathe again without being dependent on an ugly, giant ventilator. I had never been so grateful for two simple things: breathing and movement. They both cost nothing.
So Dear Body, I end this love letter lamenting on a couple of things: I’m remembering my head lying on my Dad’s chest, listening to his heartbeat as he drew his final, long breaths; and I’m signing off with gratitude that you were strong enough and perfect enough to carry me through it all. Love Cindy x
Cindy is Parents Guide Guest Author on all things body, woman and fitness from EnVie Gym in Woonona.