I am the same person I was. I am a person who is terrified of earthquakes. I am a person who cannot whistle. I am a person with feet as cold as ice cubes, even in the summer. I am a person who is right-handed, does not wear mascara or high heels, and does not like to chew gum. I am a person who likes romantic comedies and happy endings. I am a person who believes in wishing on stars and rainbows being good omens.
I am not the same person I was. I am a person with a scar on my left leg. I am a person who hopes she’ll be able to fly on an airplane and take her son to the Eiffel Tower. I am a person who can no longer walk my son to the museum. I am a person who must watch the clock to determine which medication to take next. I am a person who no longer wears skirts because of the multitude of veins crisscrossing my legs. I am a person who needs help caring for my son, who cannot always join in games because of my “boo-boos.”
I am now a person increasingly frustrated by the “minor” changes. I am a person with swollen fingers (a side effect of my medication) and can no longer wear the eight rings that used to adorn my fingers. I am a person who cannot go on a “Coffee Bean walk” - drinking a blended mocha, walking in the neighborhood with my son and husband, and enjoying our neighbors’ gardens.
I am no longer a person who believes everything will be okay. I know no one is omnipotent, and that disease does not wait for old age. I am no longer certain I will receive additional stamps in my passport. I am a person who can no longer walk for exercise.
Every day I must remind myself to remember who I am. For regardless of my physical appearance, I am still me. I am a person with neat handwriting. I am a person who always signals when parking at the curb. I am a person who loves with all my soul. I am a person who will always buy more books than I have time to read. I am a person who will always have stories to write.