This photo spoke to me today as I start a new challenge. In the last year my scars have been whipped one top of one another and I let them pile up one upon the other until I had no more faith in me.
My will to do better, to trust, to give, to receive, to care, to want to continue the journey, to believe in me, to rise up and make changes for a better way. I wish I could write down here all that has happened to me but this would require speaking out loud what I allowed to happen to me and did not find a voice to combat it.
the visible scar, and a very good one I might say, is my knee replacement. Ten inches long and of varying colors depending on how much I work it or not, or put pain killer on it to stop the throbbing.
I have not broken yet but there are days when it would be easier, I thank God every day for my husband whose love made it possible daily for me to go to work when I only wanted to pull the covers over my head and hide for a few years. I thank him for the family who keeps me and him in their circle of love and gives us the strength to see the humor and good in whatever bad happens.
Today I sit and reflect on the scars of a life time, 62.5 years of them. Many of the visible scars have faded to small white spots, others remain as white, purple and bumpy as the day the Doctor put the band aid on it after cleaning it with a scrub brush. The colors caused by the small stones of asphalt he could not scrub out, This scar seems to never change, it doesn't hurt but it reminds me of the day I tried to ride my beautiful blue 3 speed thin tire bike up the 4" edge of the newly paved road and didn't make it.
I fell. Did I cry? sure did because it hurt, the skin had a flap as big as a quarter on it and blood was running down my leg. This happened in back of school, half a block from the hospital and half a block from the doctor's office. I walked home the 3 blocks pushing my bike and trying to keep the blood out of my sock.
I don't remember a lot of what happened next, just that the brush they used to clean my scrape looked just like the one we cleaned concrete patio with. I got a band aid and that scar is still the same. I can trace the line of it and told them to make sure they didn't cut through it when they did my knee replacement, Not sure why, just didn't want them to mess with it. Guess it is my one badge of childhood which hasn't changed.
The scar that reminds me you can live with foreign bodies in you, bad hurts don't last forever. And yet, with every scar there is some part of the story where I was enjoying myself.
The scar on my right forearm came from daring to run down a wooded hillside to beat someone to a point at camp. I ran and skidded on that dirt road right into the gun box. A weather wood gun box which must have been sitting outside for 10 years with rusty hardware and nails that tore into my arm. The tear was 6-8" long and I kept my left hand on it as I walked down to the nurse cabin. She cleaned me up and sent me on down to wherever i was supposed to have been going. I thought the torn skin was adequate payment for hill running. The nurse took it in stride as I wasn't punished and went on with whatever camp day held.
There are other scars no one sees, the children's taunts, the eye surgeries, removal of tonsils when I got a wonderful hand made clown doll, the broken hearts from boyfriends/ friends who weren't really true/ strangers who stare too long, the deaths of parents & grandparents & aunts & uncles, now the deaths of childhood friends, the worries one puts on oneself for no reason at all.
there was a post on Facebook one day about a young man who didn't like his scars from his multiple heart surgeries because the other kids taunted him. I tried to find the original post but was unsuccessful. I went back and found the post on my home page and wrote something like the following. I hope he sees it or another post similar to it.
Visible scars are the stories of your life. In each there is sadness, hurt and beauty as each one talks of some adversity you overcame which others did not. Scars are a good conversation starter and way to brag of some foolish or important event you manged to live through. But live you did, and live you will to tell the tales of all that is you. Share your scars, through them you will bond to others more than keeping to yourself, And when the lines of the scars remain, may your heart have been healed by the tales you shared.
When you see others, recognize their scars, inside or out, celebrate your journey and theirs as your life scars provide you a new friendship you will cherish. Not all persons stay on your journey but each is important in some way and leaves a "scar" on you to carry down the road.
which bring me back to my favorite poem. My mother introduced it to me when I was young and it has made all the difference,
The Road not Taken, by Robert Frost. www.bartleby.com/119/1.h
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20
And each scar, inside and out, has made all the difference on the roads taken..