Saturday, August 29, 2009

Texas Tough


B. is a strong woman.

She keeps herself trim and in shape by hard work on her own piece of land. She’s quiet as the Texas plains in the mid-day heat and beautiful in such a way you don’t often see the likes on TV, for she’s not smooth cheeked with sophisticated hair. She's better than that. Simpler. Deeper. Richer. Highly seasoned and elaborately prepared for the rest of her life by past sadness and trial. You can see them in her face, feel them across the table.

Like the Ford truck, she’s Texas tough.

The other day at a luncheon, surrounded by small talk, B. leans over and asks me if I’d like to see her mastectomy scar. I would. I’ve wondered. I’ve seen pictures on the Internet but never in person.

B. stands up and heads to the restaurant’s bathroom. I follow and press my butt against the door so nobody else can enter. Calmly, she bears her chest. She shows me her scar, her prosthesis. She lets me look and touch. She encourages questions. Then she buttons up her shirt and leaves the room.

I profess to have to pee and don’t leave with her. Really, I’m taking a moment to mentally regroup. Reality has hit me hard. In all probability I’ll have two scars like the one she showed me. And if I’m lucky, I’ll be as brave as she is, for, as I stand alone in the bathroom, I ponder on the courage it took for that private woman to offer such an intimate show and tell.

B.’s my latest hero. She’s my new breastfriend.

29 comments:

  1. And kind. And generous. And special beyond compare.

    Amy

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  2. You'll be every bit as brave and courageous. Although I'm not from Texas and I've never been, I'd have to say that you're my idea of Texas tough. I'm glad you have other strong woman to stand beside you.

    AND I agree wholeheartedly with everything Whisper Wood Cottage says. Listen to her!
    -FringeGirl

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  3. you go girl... take your time and take it all in. The more ammo you have, the tougher you will be. You are our Tough Texan, TATAs or No TATAs!!! We all stand behind ya and are here for ya! I like the banner that Main Street Memories has on her blog and she is a survivor too!!

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  4. B. is not the only one who's Texas Tough! Hang in there Ms. C you may in for a Texas sized tornado but you ARE Texas Tough!

    Bonnie

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  5. I have a B in my life too...I call her Cher. I know that whatever gets thrown at you may bend you, but you'll never break. You're just like a mesquite tree...skinny but tough! Dig in, do what needs to be down and at the sound of the bell, come out punching...DING!
    Trash

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  6. Cher. Beautifully, openly written. A tear drops at your honesty. Much love. ~Mindy

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  7. My mom was born and raised in Texas and as strong as hell, mentally. You my friend, are the type of Texas women my mom use to talk about. The strength, the pride, the tough, the determination to fight whatever fight there was to battle. You have "that" spirit inside of you and without a doubt, you will come out of this just fine. Trust me, my mom who loved her Texas roots always knew what she was talking about. Thinking of you Cher, stay strong!

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  8. Ah lady...a scar is a scar...a testimony to the trials and tribulations life throws at us. I worked in a Plastic & Reconstructive surgery unit for 7 years. I worked with the women who bore the scars. The tears, the fears and the agony of "thinking" they would no longer be attractive, no longer be a woman, no longer be whole. They are feelings...not good, not bad...just feelings. They belong to you...
    Take a deep breathe girl cuz you have a lot of good living ahead of you. They are only scars.

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  9. Love this post girl. Are you sure you weren't looking in the mirror and seeing B? I think you were because you are not alone and somehow I can't help but think you are every bit of B and more.
    everything vintage

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  10. What an amazing breast friend! You both are very brave!

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  11. Very well written, Cher. I like Caren's comment.

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  12. You have exceptional radar.
    The patients & staff at MDA cannot not imagine the Texas woman who is about to walk through those halls.

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  13. Cher, your reaction to B. really touched me. Not everyone can be as honest and strong and as generous as you are. B+C = A+

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  14. You, Cher, Texas Woman, are one tough customer! You are tough as a nail...but most of all, you are a survivor! This is just a speed bump in your long, exciting journey through life. You are a force to be reckoned with and will bounce back like the super woman you are!

    Malisa

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  15. I'm here my loving "Texan lady"! Let me know when you are here in Houston....and then "we will do lunch"! :)

    xo...deb

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  16. Cher it is a hard row to hoe, but I am wishing you the best of luck. Your sister must be the best role model being alive for over 12 years. That is wonderful.

    I know it is scary but you can do it.

    Renee xoxo

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  17. You are brave and have tons of courage, go back and read all your posts!! You got it and we will all be here with you through your journey sister, Big HUGS, Janna

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  18. Well Cher, I guess the time is drawing near....I think I am coming to Bryan today and if so how about a cup of coffee....I will call you if I come.
    Barbara

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  19. Cher, you have so much more to write, so much more to say. This may be a big bump in the road, but you girlfriend can handle and come out a survivor. love ya ~PJ

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  20. Cher, I agree with Caren's comment - you got a lot of good livin' ahead of you! Scars don't mean a thing - just think of Gearl (different kind of scars - but scars nevertheless). I'm expecting a cake again for my B-Day 8-30-2010!

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  21. OK, so now you know. An you know we are not the sum of our parts. We can manage very well without breasts, thankyouverymuch. We can still drive and shop and love and cook and smile and work and dance (well, if you could BEforE)and sing. Loudly. In tune or not. We are NOT damaged good..but "As is" and that's just fine with me. I've not lost a job or a friend or a husband or a chance at life because I have 2 scars (that don't even match, for Pete's sake) and no breasts. The breasts just covered up my heart..and now it's so much closer to the surface! I find I'm using it, expanding it and feeling it filling with love..so just wait.. This is not the second act...but a new beginning...

    be brave! be bra-less! Just BE :-)

    signed,

    Boobless in Utah..

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  22. I can't add anything to what Utah Grammie said. I'm still praying for strength for your body and peace for your mind. Give 'em hell, Tex!

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  23. I knew you would write funny but I did not expect this poignant and powerful prose from your pen and your heart. You constantly amaze me, in so many ways.

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  24. Your sense of humor amazes me. But, I was kinda standing in that door with you. Haven't been there, but so many "sisters" have, you have to hurt for them. I think I'd still be back there in that bathroom stall. I think your Texas tough, too, and I'll keep praying for you through it. Karen

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