Today was the day.
It may not be summer where I live, but post knee surgery I needed a swimsuit for the pool at my physical rehabilitation center.
In the past, this would have been a mental event. What suit to wear?
I am in no way “beach ready” according to the magazines, but my black, skirted suit made me feel like I was. It was my rose-colored glasses, my go-to, Marilyn-Monroe-like favorite.
Yet despite my winter skin, so white that it is almost a shade of blue, staring at me, and a body that enjoyed the holidays on meds as I recovered and ate all of the generous meals the mothers of the Midwest made, I didn’t care. I have changed.
I didn’t panic when my over-expired, black, skirted swimsuit came out of its drawer. I looked at it and laughed with love. The front is totally see-through, and the straps are mangled and twisted. However, it had a good life and so have I.
Why do I have so many feelings about a swimsuit, and why was I inspired to write about it?
My 10-year-old asked the same question. My answer was simple:
“Mommy isn’t perfect.”
As much as I’ve wanted to hide behind a ton of Lycra at times, the only thing that has ever had to change was inside of me. Through prayer, yoga, and a boatload of self-reflection (and possibly age), I look back on my low self-esteem over the years and I reflect.
Today, it doesn’t matter what I wear. My knee is healing and thankfully, so am I.
Today, I say goodbye to an old friend,
with warmth in my heart.
I know what we have shared,
and that our time together was never in vain.
Some may look back in photographs
and not see your value,
or know of your forgiveness
and constant support.
I stood with you that summer
after the birth of my child,
when I felt unlovable
and uncomfortable in my own skin.
We traveled to Mexico,
Bermuda, and Arizona
for work-related beach parties,
when all I wanted to do was quit.
We stood at the pool’s edge
being judged, and not caring.
We chased the giggling children;
smiled and swam when others sat idly.
Even though I know
the time has come
to say goodbye,
I linger and remember…
You were more to me than
a skirted, black swimsuit.
You were my party dress,
my postpartum anxiety’s life saver,
and my pudgy body’s guard.
You covered my flaws
and flaunted my assets.
You gave me the strength
to feel worthy, even sexy.
After 10 years, it is time.
Your threads are bare,
your lift has fallen,
and your color faded long ago.
I will miss you.
Thank you dear skirted, black swimsuit
for all you gave to me.
But I can take it from here.
Author: Kate Fleming
Image: Courtesy of author; Pixabay
Editor: Nicole Cameron