by Katharine Royal


I've just returned from a wake, a funeral and a own

I felt the pains of the me I'd come to know...and hate...dying

The wounds I'd thought had healed re-opened and bled me dry

Staring at myself I came to realize how much I didn't understand

How much I'd missed and how much time I'd wasted

And then I realized I was staring at myself

I was lying there, stiff and cold

Yet here I was standing by and looking

A feeling swept over me, then another, and another still

Confusion, disbelief, realization, remorse, awe, joy

I was alive!  Me!  The real me.

Before me lay only a shell – the me I'd thought I was for so long

I walked a short distance and stood before a mirror, eyes closed

How I had once hated mirrors

But could it be, was I now to realize

The me I'd seen all those years wasn't me, but a reflection of all the things I hated

I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough

Able-bodied enough

I opened my eyes, first a narrow crack

Then a bit more

Blinking, I stood in awe of what was before me

Scales fell from my eyes as I realized

Who I truly was

Perfection?  What was that really?

Flaws?  Just cracks in the diamond of my soul

Cracks forming a beautiful tapestry

Fat, lazy, coward, cripple

I could no longer see except in shadows

Fading in the background

Courageous, loving, creative, strong

Who I really was, who I'd been all along

Years of pain, guilt, and trying to be good enough

Began to melt away

I gazed at my arms, peppered in the scars of self-hatred

Hoping those marks too were gone

But it was not to be

Someone beside me took my hand

“Remember how you got here.  Remember who you are and Whose you are.”

A glance, a smile, a tear

My son stood before me, radiant smile and sunlight in his hair

“You wondered who I'd be today.  This is who you are today.”

A warm embrace, a fading light of dream's haze collided with the morning sky

I awoke beside my once in a lifetime and knew

I'd been re-born


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