Sequins and Fringe
Bette Midler once said, “I always try to balance the light with the heavy—a few tears of human spirit with the sequins and fringe.” I found these words to resonate within me.
In considering our Spring into Confidence theme, Bette’s quote is on target. If given the choice, I suspect that few people would choose to have an ostomy; it came with some spirit tears. But if you’ve accepted it and moved through and beyond the grieving process, then you might have found some places in life where the sequins and fringe take center stage.
Much of my life as a woman with an ostomy has focused on helping my two children understand and accept my ostomy “status,” while not being embarrassed by having a “bag lady” for a mom. Honestly, I think it’s been more of an issue for me than for them! When my now-21-year-old daughter, Chelsea, was three, I explained to her the entire ostomy procedure, giving her all the gory details. At the end of the long explanation, all she said was, “I bet that hurt!”
Lisa and I were recently discussing how our kids have been affected by our diseases, procedures and the work we do. She shared that her eight-year-old, Anna, wanted to wear a pair of our underwear because she wanted to relate to what it felt like. What compassion and sweetness!
Anna has also been telling her friends about how her mommy “started a clothing business and makes special, beautiful underwear.” This reminded us that if we don’t want our children to be embarrassed about our physical situation, we cannot be ashamed or embarrassed either. We must be able to talk about it openly and honestly.
In life—and specifically as a person with an ostomy—there are tears. But there are also sequins and fringe. May this delicate tension remind you of the ebb and flow of a balance that can ultimately lead to your personal confidence.