In the waiting room, about to have some moles removed, I was struck by the idea of connecting the dots. I have so many dots, so many stories, so many moles! So what is the connection? And isn’t that what’s in my heart? It is my soul, it comes with me as me – vulnerable me – connection.
I’m the connection between the dots. The moles are on me. And I am a part of each of them. Have I lost you? Bear with me…
When my boys were really little they asked me about why Grandma had so many spots and moles all over her. I knew my mom was self-conscious about her aging skin, so I said, “You know, every mole that Grandma has is a different story in her life. You should ask her one day about one of her stories.”
They were so intrigued, eyes wide, and asked me what I meant. So I said, “As you get older, you get to have adventures and experiences, and things that make up stories. And every story is represented by a mole.” Unsurprisingly, they began to ask me about my moles, and what stories did I have? My youngest pointed at one of my larger moles expectantly, and I said, “Oh, that’s a good one!” Both of their faces lit up. With a captivated audience, I searched deep in my memory trove…
“That one is the time your Aunt Heather was about 6 years old. Can you imagine? She was so cute and she had white blonde hair all the way down to her bum.”
They nodded along.
“Well, I was about 11 and my job was to vacuum. So I was vacuuming your Aunt Heather’s room and I asked her to get all of the stuffed animals out from under her bed so that I could vacuum under there.”
“She got right down on the floor while I was vacuuming, and as she was reaching under her bed to get her stuffies… her hair was perfectly spread out like a white blanket on the carpet. I wanted to see how close I could get without sucking it up in the vacuum.”
Eyes getting wider.
“And do you know what?”
Of course I paused for effect.
“All of a sudden the vacuum wound up all of her hair and was stuck to her head!”
Gasps from the boys.
“I froze. Aunt heather was now standing up and screaming at the top of her lungs. It was so loud you could hear her over the vacuum. My mom, your Grandma, came sprinting into the room and yelled ‘TURN OFF THE VACUUM!!!!!’ So I did. Aunt Heather was crying and all of her hair was completely stuck. And that was the day Aunt Heather got a haircut.”
They couldn’t believe it and excitedly pointed at other moles begging to hear another one (I made sure to give Grandma the heads up before they asked to hear the stories of her moles).
When I came home from Dr. Mole today, the boys, now 6 and 8, asked what happened. Why did I have so many bandages on? I told them, I had some bad stories removed.
It’s true enough. I’ve been going to therapy, and as I peel apart, learn, and begin to understand more about connection and what that means for me in relation to others, I also learn about me. I’m changing my stories, maybe not removing the bad ones, but exposing them and cutting out the toxic, hurtful bits. It’s painful, but therapy is kind of like the freezing – it helps with the process, and the scars are the new version of the stories. Stories of being brave, of being vulnerable.
Connection is what remains…. and it’s me.