Our much, much more serious instance of physical selves failing us involves Rob's mom. She was diagnosed with colon cancer this past summer and although everything seems to be going OK with that health issue, she had a whole-body PET scan as part of oncology care after her surgery that discovered a cancerous tumor in her throat, about where one of her tonsils would be. There is still a lot about the situation that is uncertain and unknown, but it appears that the doctors are sure it is cancer and that she will have surgery very soon. There is some concern that the tumor may involve the base of her tongue, which would be not good. If you are a person who considers yourself a believing/persuaded/praying person, as we are, we would so appreciate you taking a minute to pray for Rob's mom-- for wisdom for the doctors, for healing, and specifically that her ability to talk would not be affected.
All this sickness rubbish has made me ponder our physical corporeal selves again. I think I walk around with a bit of a Platonic/Gnostic mind-body dualism in my mind (or my brain?! which is it?!), sort of believing that the real me is just walking around in this human-being suit, that we would all be happier if we could be disembodied mind/souls whooshing around without the fetters of these imperfect, malfunctioning bodies. I attribute at least part of this to my un-athletic childhood; I am not someone who spent her formative years really enjoying her physical self and what it could do. I don't really think that's the way things are, though; we're all embodied creatures and my body is just as much part of the "real me" as the parts I can't measure. I believe that I'm more than the sum of my firing neurons but I'm also somehow entangled and intertwined in my cells and DNA and biochemical processes. This freaks me out the most when I think about Grace and Violet. If, for instance, something makes me really stop and recognize that there is a tiny heart beating inside Violet, and slim bones and muscles and a tiny set of lungs, I get very weirded out, I think because it makes her seem at the same so mysterious and vulnerable. On the other hand, it has been motherhood that has brought me the most peace with my physical self, as well as the most intense realization of how beautiful our bodies as humans are.