Because of all of this writing I have been doing, I have been getting inundated with amazing texts, mail, calls and whatever other way technology has manifested into our lives. I feel like a rockstar and the intense love and support has reminded me of the power of words. I am privileged to be able to write them. These writings have been my healing and preparation. They have been my own version of ritual and I can’t stop the flow as the floodgates are now like a wide open road. Perhaps my breasts being removed is actually a certain liberation of the feminine archetype and as those wings leave me, I get to play dress up with new ones.

What I have observed this past few weeks especially this past TEN DAYS is how easy I get distracted so I have always been in the habit of making lists. Not obsessive, but in a constructive way that gets the chatter to stop taking up precious brain space which takes time and energy away from writing. So the list gets made and I start crossing off as items are completed. I have spoken to hundreds if not thousands of women and list making is one of our common denominators. We all have our own style, our own compulsive behaviors with them like what colors we write them with, what type of paper, are the lists numbered, bulleted? If we write something and make a mistake, do we throw the list away and make a new list? Blah blah blah.

So as one may imagine, getting ready for life changing surgery especially when one owns a company that has two businesses and twenty employees who all need to get paid and cared for there is lots to do before hand. There is also all of my self -imposed woman bullshit that I need to complete before I go so when I come home it is done.

I probably don’t even have to write it, but I will, because every woman I know does these things before vacation. Going to the hospital for three days and then coming home and not being able to do most of the stuff I usually do is in theory like preparing for vacation.

Wash the sheets, (because sheets need to be changed every two days after a mastectomy and latimus dorsi flap something or other surgery, trying to block this one out), laundry washed and folded and put away (because the reaching, bending lifting may not be possible) dishes washed, put away (well this is just pure female, surgery or not) bills paid for the month (because I do not want to even think about work while I am recovering) stuff packed, plants watered (because who wants to come home to dead plants) trash taken out, (well this one is just common sense), comfort food that I never usually eat bought and placed at waist level for easy access when saltines and grilled cheese are the only food to satisfy, house straightened, and the endless contacts shared with the women in my life who I am surrendering to and allowing myself to be carried by for at least the next month.

My list this past week was really absurd, too much stuff on it, too many things scheduled, I completely freaked out yesterday and had to shut it down. Not to mention all of my lovely friends who wanted to stop by for a last hug before ZERO DAYS LEFT. I had to start saying no to hugs and love which is not my compass, but I just needed time alone. Today was the solution to my freak out. Nothing scheduled except for a doctor’s appointment. It was pure bliss, creating sacred alone time that I asked for and was totally given by the people in my life who know me and care about me.

I kid about WONDER WOMAN, but really it is not just me, it is the WONDER WOMEN who give me my power and hopefully I give it back in return. This is true connection and love. As I write this last entry, I am at total peace with this experience. I am not afraid. I am no longer anxious because I know I am in extraordinary care of doctors and nurses who care more about their patients then the hospitals themselves. I am in divine care with all of the people I both know and don’t know who are availing themselves through the gestures of prayers and thoughts. I am in beautiful loving and caring hands and I am looking forward to DAY ONE and beyond.

Everytime for most of my life since my brother died, when I end a conversation with my grandparents who are depression era, pragmatic and unconditionally loving, a trifecta combination, I end the call with I LOVE YOU. Like many from this generation, those words do not flow back as easily and the reply has always been something like, “you too” or “take care.” The thing is that I know they love me, it is an intense feeling in the roots of my core so the words from them are not really as important to me as me saying it to them. The only time I ever heard them say I LOVE YOU is when they talked to my son, their first great grandchild who was born and raised with thousands of I LOVE YOUS and it is a natural close to a conversation. They always said it to him and I always smiled happily knowing I have a child who brought this freedom out in them.

After my grandmother died, the conversations became just between my grandfather and me and I always say I LOVE YOU and he always says what he always had said. (By the way my grandfather is a rocking 99 year old WWII vet, everyone says I have good genes when they hear that, fingers crossed)

Tonight we spoke as I promised him I would call him before the surgery and when we hung up, he said it. He said I LOVE YOU before I had a chance to say it to him. “I love you too,” my surprised and happy self said back and hung up the phone. The tears ripped out of me and I cried, actually wailed like I haven’t yet done since this whole strange trip started. My brother, my father and my grandmother all started flashing in my mind and I knew that at that moment and tomorrow along with my Aunt Peggy and my other Grandmother and Grandfather, they are all here with me carrying me in their arms from wherever they landed. This is beauty. This is when you know you are done with your work and you can truly surrender.

Alayne’s brain. Herbie and alayne. Herbie Isabelle alayne and Michael (Isabelle holding their wedding picture)

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self proclaimed lover of all things beauty, business + lifestyle, I write because it feels good.