Titanium never occurs in nature in its pure form, but is found as an ore, bonded to other materials.
My friends and family have been titanium. Better than gold, if you ask me, that shiny yellow malleable stuff that dings and scratches if you look at it wrong. They bend. They support. And when I ask for help… and sometimes even when I don’t quite manage to ask for it! … they’re a framework of strength.
I am grateful to each and every one of them. I can’t count all the times, I can’t name all the names, there have been so many. Those who recommended foods until I found things I could eat, who had me over to dinner even knowing that I’d be sucky company just so I could be around humans. The ones who message me late into the night and the ones who talk me through the days. The ones who listen when I cry and when I try to be brave, and see through both. The ones who kindly and without any sort of condescension literally physically haul me through places, who let me sleep on sofas when I can’t make it home. Those people that pray, near and far, every day. Those that journey thousands of miles to watch me sleep, do my laundry, take out my trash. Those who are battle buddies. It takes a profound amount of strength and courage to do this for anyone, friend, family, stranger. I have been all three to my squad of helpers at some point or another. Their kindness is overwhelming, their compassion and strength more powerful in its own way than whatever is wrong with me.
Titanium, even once refined, is often alloyed with aluminum or other metals — and it is often these alloys that are put in the highest stress situations, in planes and implants and space vehicles. Because these couplings, these alloys, are stronger and lighter than each element individually. Perhaps there is a reason that titanium is never found in nature as a pure element. Sometimes we have to stand together.