Today, February 23, 2009, we have received word that both Master and T have been approved for bariatric surgery. That is the beginning of this journey for our family. It is our hope that the surgery will occur in exactly one month, on March 23.
We are all a little breathless, scared, and jittery about this. It is a huge undertaking, physically and emotionally. We have great hopes for the benefits of this path, but it is not likely to be easy for any of us.
I have the easy part. I am the support member. I do not have to actually undergo the surgery or the subsequent recovery. I will retain options to eat in ways that will not be available to the rest of the family. It is my plan to eat right along through all the stages with Master and T, but we'll see how that goes over time.
The picture, that I've selected for this blog is a stylized Egyptian "phoenix." I am struck by how similar it is to our clan totem heron. It seems to me appropriate for this space that we would add to our pantheon of birds, the mythical phoenix -- representing change, transformation, and rebirth.
Here's the myth of the phoenix --
Phoenix (Bennu, Benu)
Appearance: The Bennu bird was a large imaginary bird resembling a heron. It had a two long feathers on the crest of it's head and was often crowned with the disk of the sun.
Meaning: The Bennu was the sacred bird of Heliopolis. Bennu probably derives from the word weben, meaning "rise" or "shine." The Bennu was associated with the sun. As a symbol of the rising and setting sun, the Bennu was also the lord of the royal jubilee.
The Bennu was also associated with the inundation of the Nile and of the creation. Standing alone on isolated rocks of islands of high ground during the floods the heron represented the first life to appear on the primeval mound which rose from the watery chaos at the first creation. This mound was called the ben-ben. It was the Bennu bird's cry at the creation of the world that marked the beginning of time. The bennu thus was the god of time and its divisions -- hours, day, night, weeks and years.
The Bennu was also considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris and the bird was often shown pirched in his sacred willow.
The Bennu was known as the legendary phoenix to the Greeks. This Arabian bird however was said to resemble an eagle with brilliant gold and red plumage. Before the phoenix died it built a nest of incense twigs and laid down in it and died. From its body a small worm emerged that the sun's heat transformed into the new phoenix.
Another story says that the phoenix rose again from the burnt and decomposing remains of his old body and took these to Heliopolis, where he burned them.
We'll move through this together, as we do everything, and it is my hope that we'll record the steps along the way here -- so that, when we come to the other side of this, we'll be able to look back and see where we came from.
Wish us luck!