I don’t want to forget that this happened, finally.
One fine day this week, I woke up and didn’t feel different, didn’t hurt anywhere, didn’t think about the strange new arrangement inside my mouth. I just woke up, opened my eyes, and thought about what I wanted to get done that day.
It was the tenth anniversary of the day my mom died, and almost two years since I lost my sister. Both died in May. But I wasn’t thinking about them that morning. I didn’t think about how they would’ve reacted to my current situation. I didn’t wonder how they would feel about the way my life has changed in the last nine weeks.
I didn’t do the touch/checklist routine I’ve been doing religiously since March first, when the tumor, teeth, and margins were removed. The checklist usually starts below my right eye, as my fingers gently press the skin, all the way down to my chin,searching for feeling and acknowledging the numbness along the right side of my face. I’m still not used to the way that skin feels: as though it belongs to someone else, and then there’s the feeling that makes me think there is a slender hair brushing against my upper lip and alongside my nose when there is nothing there. Feeling and not feeling. Nerves coming alive, but oh so slowly.
So, for one glorious day, I woke up as if everything was as it used to be.
I don’t want to forget that it happened once. My hope is that it will happen again and again until I don’t notice anymore, like waking up after a cold is gone and feeling like your old self again but not noticing until later that you’re over it.
A clean slate, for one day so far. One day and counting.