Friday, November 13, 2009

A Thankful Loss of Vanity

I am up late watching Reese Wither-
spoon on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. She's strikingly beautiful from head to toe. Tiny waist, radiant smile, great head of hair. I mean, she is gorgeous. Had I been watching her during any given moment before, say, 15 minutes ago, I'd have knocked myself for not working harder to be my most beautiful self.

But at this moment, I feel grateful for her face, and for mine.

I never really watch television, but I've been in the house for a while with only so much to do. I've cleaned the house, filed the bills, fed my son, and addressed all of my Christmas cards. Mostly, I've found myself playing on the computer and watching a little too much boob tube. The other day, I saw Oprah Winfrey being interviewed by someone, somewhere on the red carpet. I only heard her say something to the effect of, "I will never complain again" and then the interviewer making reference to the woman who was attacked by the chimp nearly a year ago, the woman whose face and half of her left arm were ripped off.

I wanted to watch the interview with the woman, which was being aired on Wednesday, but I missed it. So tonight, just about 15 minutes ago, I went to the Winfrey website to see highlights of the interview. The first page shows a photo of the woman, Charla Nash, before she was attacked. She's a slim, pretty woman. Like really just blessed pretty. Perfect nose, high cheekbones, radiant smile. Nothing anyone could complain about.

I felt slightly disappointed, not by her beauty, but because I expected to see a photo of her now. I was also shocked, I might add, at how really easy on the eyes she was, because in my mind's eye, she'd looked like the chimp's owner, which was not the case.

I started reading about what had happened, and when I clicked to page 2 on the Oprah site, I saw a photo of Nash hidden behind a veil that she wears. I tried to magically see through it, to no avail. However, I was able to see how noticeably different her face shape was. I kept flipping between the two pages, in complete shock. And as I read what had happened to her, having heard the 911 call way too many times, I started to think about how horrifying it must have been for her, and how difficult her experience might be.

Page 3 shows Nash without a veil. Her face is severely disfigured, she has no eyes, nose, or mouth, but a hole through which she eats and drinks, created by her doctors. I am still in shock. I am still in shock. My God, I could never have imagined it.

I turned on the television just to change the energy, because I am still completely overwhelmed by it. God bless her, she has an amazing will to live and a surprisingly optimistic outlook on life. And now I completely get why Oprah said that she will never complain again.

Here, I've been moaning and bitching about how I don't look as good as I did just three years ago. How my face is changing and I look older. I do. It's true. My Italian nose is prominent, my face pale and slightly gaunt, and I definitely have those frown lines that people are so quick to Botox away. I've gained a few pounds, and while I am working to lose them, my progress is slow. And most of today, I felt crappy and not attractive, and just couldn't look in the mirror. But now, now I am changed.

I have eyes, a nose, a mouth, lips. Good skin. Hair. Hands. I am whole. And I am so very grateful for it all.

To read about Charla Nash and see her photos on the Oprah Winfrey show's page, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment