I just saw a quote, that fell in love with me and doesn’t seem to want to leave my head. I don’t know where it came from, it doesn’t say or I could give it proper credit. “My scars are part of my story. They are reminders of how life tried to break me…..and failed.” I don’t often think about my scars, I’m well aware that they exist and I know the story to all of them. When that quote struck me I started thinking about why of all the things in life that I have been through, would these seemingly bad moments when something hurt so bad that it left a permanent mark to remind me of the pain, why would these be moments that I want to remember. Why would that moment need marked?
The oldest scar that I can remember getting is a tiny round one on my right hand just below my thumb. I’ve had that scar since I was about 6 years old. I got a wood splinter in my hand and it was so small that you couldn’t see It. I’m not sure how long it had been there when my hand became infected. I remember my grandmother was the one who found it, and she was the home remedy grandma, not the emergency room grandma. So she basically held me down and used a safety pin dipped in alcohol and lots of alcohol to clean out my infection. Again my mind wonders….why this moment? Who wants to remember this? I had so many amazing moments with my grandmother why did I have to keep this one? Maybe …..that moment was the moment where I developed a love for home remedies. Maybe, on a deeper level, that was the first moment that I experienced that level of compassion from someone. To love someone so much that you were going to help them even if they fight you.
Maybe I thought there is something to this scar thing, but maybe it’s not all pain like the quote suggests, maybe those scars are the greatest moments of love that you’ve experienced here?
Having never thought about this much before, this thought will need some more examining…..
My next set of scars that I remember are on my face, my lips to be exact. I crashed my grandfather’s ATV when I went up a steep hill that I had never tried to go up before. I always watched everyone else bravely ride to the top while I parked and walked up my uncles house. This day though I was out by myself. I pulled up to the creek beside which I would normally park next to when I would walk. I sat there for a few minutes and thought to myself that I knew I could make it to the top no problem. All I had to do was stand up just as I got through the water and throw my weight forward like everyone else did when they did it. How hard is that? That’s it I thought, today is the day. Tomorrow my brother will no longer be able to make fun of me for having to park and walk, tomorrow they would all know that I could do it to! So I started going really fast and got across the water no problem, and the next thing I really remember is lying on my back and watching the ATV coming down on top of me. I was 12 I would have been crushed. The handle of the big bike hit me in the mouth, knocked out teeth, cracked others split my lips open in 2 places, and then instead of continuing to come down on top of me it rolled to the side and fell back down into the water.
After that, the next moment I remember I was spitting out teeth in the creek and trying to wash the blood out of my mouth with water. Then I walked the rest of the way to my uncle’s house ( this was in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors to see what had happened and long before cell phones), I went inside, got some washcloths and tried again to clean up and was able to assess the damage. I know I thought about calling my mom, but thought she was going to be really mad and my face hurt, my head hurt and my arm was really hurting, I didn’t feel like getting yelled at, so I decided to walk the mile home. As if somehow by walking home I was going to be able to hide the fact that I was missing teeth and my face was split open. But again, I was 12 so I know somehow this made sense in my head. When I got home my mom was gone, but my dad was there. He of course wanted to know what happened so I choked it out through a thousand tears. He told me to go lay down and that he would be back. He went to get my mom and see if the ATV could be taken home. My mom took me to the hospital where it turned out that I had a broken arm, needed 6 stiches in the corner of my lip and another 8 in the center of my bottom lip, and after all of that I was going to require multiple dentist visits that I wasn’t looking forward to. As I think about this I have to once again wonder, why this moment? With all of the good times that we had playing on those why is this one the main one that I had to keep? Maybe it was all so that I could learn that some things are dangerous and if I was always trying to keep up with the boys something really bad was going to happen. Or maybe, if you go a level deeper, then maybe this was the first moment that I had the experience that life is precious. One bad decision, could quickly take it all away. Once again I wondered if instead of what I always thought was such a bad thing, or even an ugly thing especially being on my face, maybe this to was love.
I could go on and on, as I have numerous scars, and I could tell you the stories of each and every one of them. How they came to be, which shoes I was wearing when I got a certain blister, what I am discovering about each one. How inevitably weather it was a moment that almost took my life, or a moment that changed my life like the stretch marks that line my belly I found a moment in there that was nothing but pure love. I could also go through the one’s that you cannot see with your eyes, I can only feel them with my heart. They are the inside scars the ones we carry for our loved ones no longer here, or for those that broke our hearts on the journey to where we sit today. Those also carry with them profound lessons and so much love. I could tell you about them all like I said, but I think you get the point.
They say that everything in life is love, that in the truth of everything that we have done or experienced, be it what we think is bad or what we think is good at the core of it when we look back on it there was always love there. I’ll never look at my scars the same. Where there is love there is life, and that is what we are all covered up with….life! Now I think that the more scars one has is just how much they have lived, experienced and loved, and isn’t that the point?