From the moment I learned of a grapefruit/Tuscan cantaloupe (I call it is a Tuscan cantaloupe because they are smaller than Americana cantaloupes) making a home out of my uterus nearly two months ago, I declared:“Take it out of me.”
Never did I imagine that my wish would come true that the mass would have to be removed along with my uterus. Never did I foresee that I would have a hysterectomy at 32-years-old. All the crystal balls in the world could not have seen this coming.
But, this is the thing about life: It never works according to how we see or how we plan.
For me, I was very easy to accept and even happy about the news because it was a clear cut answer for me to get the hysterectomy rather than let a foreign Tuscan melon continue to grow and make a home out of my uterus decked out with wallpaper and flowered drapes. The worst is when there are not clear answers to take care of the unknown, new, and scary. I was more so unhappy that I was going to have to endure yet another surgical procedure, but most happy that my body confirmed my sixth sense desire of never wanting to have children.
Many have been stunned by my euphoric joy and jokes at the “cantaloupe extraction,” “cantaloupe cut out,” and “My Immaculate Conception” label that I’ve slapped on to that phase of my life. Many have been shocked at how open I have been to announce that I’m getting a hysterectomy. Believe it or not, I must even confess that I became a little shy and awkward to share this hysterectomy news due to the reactions that I’ve been receiving.
The reaction to the news has differed significantly from my hip replacement and kidney transplants.
Male reactions are typical due to the vastly differing anatomy and functions of men and women: awkward, speechless, and, simply, not knowing what to say so they say nothing. Mainly, pity glistens in the eyes of women and especially women who are already mothers via childbirth and asking: “Are you OK with that?”
When I ask, “What’s ‘that’ that you are referring to?”
They look at me like I am an idiot and confirm, “Well, having children, of course.”
Ah, yes, of course. Women having children. Because, this is what women do. Because, women having children is what makes us different from men. Because, apparently, a woman is not a woman until she grows breast, has her monthly period, and, above all else, bears children. Clearly, women who are able to and can have children naturally are on the pedestal in this society rather than women who cannot have children.
My response to the many who have somehow deemed that a woman is a woman when she bears children is, “Well, what about adoption? Does this mean that a woman who adopts is not a mother? Not a woman?”
As I explained to one of my friends, “I learned long ago from my stepmother TC who is the epitome of a wonder woman and woman that a mother and woman is someone who carries you throughout life and not just nine months in the womb or uterus. TC has been more of a woman and mother to me than my very own mother.”
More now than ever, I see the definition and meaning of a woman as vastly different from the moral majority society. I see a “Wonder Woman” view, which is a woman who is simply a person who is full of substance rather than surface, grace, strength, and faith through life’s most difficult and daunting challenges. She can speak up and stand up strong when she has to, let go when she must to accept the situation as is, never bow down or play the weak damsel in distress to obtain what is needed, embrace humble and high-up confidence at the same time, and carry herself high up while supporting others top notch role model. Many men and even women who have been accustomed to the usual weaker role may find these “Wonder Women” (who are most often single) frightening and fighting against the ‘norm.’ If only we could slowly change our views and gender roles that, yes, it is OK for women to be strong (and not seen as a bitch) and men to be weak (and not be seen as a loser). In the end, we are just people. Human beings. Full of flaws and always a work in progress.
I have been blessed and surrounded by “Wonder Women” with the number one being my Stepmother TC. She has always been the quiet and dutiful loyal soldier with always being there to listen to my woes and worries, drive all the way to Manhattan for my appointments, bring me soup and prepare food for my father and me after a long and draining day, and give me advice when I asked.
My big sister is another wonder woman. I purposely surround myself with wonder women who enhance my life and me by being there for me in comfort, yet knocking sense into me when needed.
Have you thought about the “Wonder Women” in your life who have supported and guided you through the worst possible times in your life and not just there during your happy moments? Have these “Wonder Women” given off sparks and depth of inner strength, character, and beauty that shines on to the outside to envelope and become you?
It is really not easy to be a woman. Then again, it is really not easy to be a person this day in age with constant internal and external pressures and chaos. In order to make it easier, just be the wonderful and wondrous person you truly are.
And, that brings me to my final question, Have you thought about and are ready to fulfill the “Wonder Woman” in you to embrace and be?
Here is to all the "Wonder Women" and people in my life and to this upcoming surgery that I pray will not be postponed due to a chest cold/allergy thing that I am battling with!
If this surgery is meant to be, then it will take place. Now, that is the "Wonder Woman" in me speaking through and through :-)