The Velveteen Xunnie?
I was recently reminded of the book The Velveteen Rabbit, and specifically the part of the book during which the stuffed animals are having a discussion…
“‘You BECOME,’ the horse said to the rabbit. ‘It doesn’t happen all at once. It takes a very long time. Generally by the time you are REAL most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter, because once you are real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.'”
I just received a package from the home medical supplies place, dropping off my new braces/pads for my elbows that I’m supposed to sleep in to protect the ulnar nerve so my arms don’t fall asleep all the time. Sort of a silly thing to have to have, don’t you think? But it got me to thinking that this isn’t the first time I have had to have in-home medical supplies and care. I’ve had walkers and crutches. Oxygen tanks and braces. Nurses and physical therapists.
So, is it true, do you think? If all my hair were to be rubbed off and as I get sort of shabby and loose in the joints, am I becoming more real? I suppose the argument could be made that all people go through that process. It is, after all, our elderly that are often the most beautiful if they have lived the life with the greatest love and it rubs off. It just so happens that Xunnie is aging a little faster than most people do.
So I was laying on my bed with ice on my neck a little while ago, wondering if I have become more real because of everything I have been through. I was wondering how I feel about facing the fifth surgery soon. I was wondering if living one’s life on double time really opens up the big picture?
It’s easy to get lost in details and drama, especially these days. My hope is that I have become more real and developed the ability to recognize what really matters, even if the hair has been loved off of it, and the eyes have dropped out, and it looks a little shabby. I hope that I am more real because of what I have been through and because I know I don’t have the same kind of time someone else might.
A friend of mine recently asked me where I would be at 70 as she thought of her own mother’s natural degeneration. I simply responded that I may never see 70. I won’t have another 34 years. That must be hard to think about for the average thirty-something, but it’s something I already know. But hopefully by then, all my hair will be loved off and I couldn’t possibly be ugly, except to those who don’t understand.