There is something very intimate about being unwrapped after surgery.
Friday, I came home bound up tight like a mummy - my entire chest encircled with a wide ace bandage like a 70s tube top. I was able to remove it 36 hours later, but I left it on for an extra day because things came up. I was tired, the kids were running around, it got too late to shower... but, really... I wasn't emotionally ready.
On the third day, I asked Dr. Fab to free me. The man has known me for almost 20 years. We've been together as a couple for 12 years, married for 11.
I have been "unwrapped" by this man on many levels, many times, emotionally and physically. He has watched my body change from that of a 29 year old graduate student, limber and spry, to that of a functional baby-making machine, bringing our three little ones into the world.
He has lain next to me as I nursed each one of our babies - watching my body morph from one glorious thing into another. He has witnessed the unstoppable pull of gravity lap upon my shores with each passing decade. He has seen me unwrapped and unglued; unbreakable and undone.
When I was ready, he unwrapped me with the tenderness and love I've grown to know and almost take for granted. I'm soothed by the silence between us. It's the silence of old friends, of unconditional love, of blind trust. The bandage unwound around and around. We joked that it was like the magician pulling the endless ribbon of scarves from his shirt sleeve.
"You look beautiful," he told me as our eyes took in the dried blood beneath the steri-strips and the yellowish hues that were just starting to form under my skin.
And the crazy thing was, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that he meant it.