This week is Mitochondrial Awareness week.
Which is funny because if you know me, you know about your mitochondria.
But I truly wish you didn't know.
My loss hits sometimes.
I was in a college town on Saturday. It was a weekend for high school seniors to tour the campus. The hotel lobby was full of anxious, potential new students and overprotective parents. I got into the elevator with a mom and her daughter. The daughter held a bear shaped travel pillow in one hand and her mom's hand in the other. She sighed deeply and put her head on her mom's shoulder. Her mom instinctively turned and kissed her daughters head.
I, ironically was going back upstairs to work and held a glass of wine in my hand. I took a sip and examined the buttons on the elevator.
They got off on the fourth floor and continued to hold hands.
The ease of this intimacy between mother and child....I miss....I will covet for the rest of my life.
Mito took that piece of my life and dared me to find a different one.
It took many pieces.
It sat across from me with irksome eyes, returned my life after loss on a platter; steaming, stinking, painful, unidentifiable and goaded me to find a new purpose.
And so I dug through the mess and tended to what was salvageable. It took a lot of digging, a lot of scrubbing and searching.....searching through the shit for what was good.
Eventually, I constructed my new life.
It is piecemealed together, fragile, continually searching and changing to find what makes it complete but it is a life in spite of all that Mito tried took.
I am broken. My new life presents me snarky, impatient, unpredictable and horrifically judgmental.
This morning I watched Madonna being interviewed by CBS this morning. She is doing great work in Malawi, Africa. Good, commendable work. But she said she is doing it because she is the embodiment of whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
I spit my tooth paste out and said Bullshit to the TV.
I have become the woman who yells at the TV.
In this new life I have met many beautiful, humble embodiments of strength. They do not tell you they are strong. They pick through the remnants of the old life, polish, scrub and redefine.
Mito takes. It takes strength, energy, power and our Loves. It returns us as voyeurs in an elevator daring us to continue on. Challenging us to find our life again.
It takes a lot. And it takes a lot to not allow this disease to take everything.
The antonym to take is to give. And perhaps that is how I must right size all the taking; to combat it with giving. Not because giving is the altruistic thing to do; that part is the icing on the cake. But because the giving stands up to the taking and I need some soldiers in my court or at the very least in my elevator.
Happy Mitochondrial awareness week.