December 22 will forever be Christmastectomy to me. It is a day of remembrance… a new holiday that I’ve decided to celebrate instead of forget. Last year it meant fear, sadness and pain. But this year, and future years to come, it means hope, strength and happiness.
With that in mind, I wanted to share something I recently posted on Instagram. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. This method revitalizes the old piece with new life, celebrating it’s unique history and making it more beautiful than the original. I decided to apply this method to a gift I recently received and promptly broke like a bonehead. I was so upset as I pulled it out of the gift bag and watched it fall to the ground in pieces. Instead of throwing it away, I used a homemade version of Kintsugi to emphasize the cracks, see the beauty in its flaws and highlight its new-found uniqueness.
The process of putting the gift back together (like a 2nd grade arts and crafts project) made me think of my mastectomy and the process of healing. I remember when I first looked at myself in the mirror about a week after surgery and couldn’t stop crying. How could I ever be ok with these cracks, these flaws, this broken version of me? It took a long time but I started to heal and I finished reconstruction – I began to see how my scars represented strength and beauty, not imperfection. They now have a history and uniqueness that I can celebrate and embrace. So Merry Christmastectomy to all and to all a good night! I hope you are all focused on hope, strength and happiness on this very special holiday.