[From December 8, 2016.]
She hasn’t really wanted her picture taken, much less posted for all the world (or really, anyone) to see, since she was first diagnosed. This disease and all of its vast indignities — the surgeries, the infections, the disintegrating jawbone, the dramatic weight loss, the isolation — haven’t just decimated her physical health, but they’ve taken an enormous toll on her self esteem, too. I’m not talking about simply having one’s vanity challenged, although that’s happened, too. Instead, there’s been an impeachment of her sense of self, of what she has to contribute to the world, and of how people view her.
Earlier today, though, she sent me a selfie with our beloved ball of fur, Stella, her service-dog-in-training. It’s a picture full of love and so much hard-fought, battle-tested, defiant beauty.
She sent me a selfie and now it’s one of my favorite pictures.