I have an enormous collection of scars. If you look at my skin you will see all of the little door dings, as I call them, places where I've run right into life without looking where I was headed. There are little scratches and bumps from exploring my world without a net. I'm rather proud of some of them.
I started collecting scars when I first learned to walk, because walking involves a lot of falling before you get the hang of it. Tthe scar on my chin came from falling and hitting the kitchen table; that required two stitches at the ER. My dad said that it took a crowd of people to hold me down, so that doctor must have been pretty skilled. And fast.
Many scars. They all started out fresh, angry, and red, even the ones that I endured on the inside. They reminded me to pay attention, to be careful, and to knock off whatever it was that I was doing. Maybe I listened to them for awhile, at least until the scars healed and faded into almost nothingness. Then I would be back to dancing on the high wire or saying yes to a date, never expecting to fall. It's that faith, however misplaced it sometimes might be, that keeps us trying new adventures. At least, that's how I reasoned it to be.
There's the scar on my hand where I jammed a really sharp pencil while in a heated discussion in the third grade. You can still see the graphite in there.
There are the scars I've received from playing with my cats, and learning to understand when they stopped playing.
My smallpox scar represents a time when the fear of contagious disease was a dark shadow hovering above us. The medical miracle of vaccinations provided relief of that fear. At some point they stopped vaccinating against smallpox and declared it eradicated, but I still wonder what might happen if...
My C-section scars, which represent my initially futile attempts at procreation, and my one success.
There are the scars that remain each time I've had a mole removed, just in case it might be cancerous. One scar in particular represents my realization that I could never enter the medical field, since I took one look at the apple corer contraption they were using and fainted. Good times.
Since September, I've acquired many more scars. There's my mastectomy scar, still an ugly reminder of my journey. There's the scar from my chest drain, still red. There is a scar on my neck and on my chest where they inserted the mediport. I will likely have a tattoo added before I start the radiation therapy, which counts as a scar in my book. Once all this cancer business is over, I will have added the scars of reconstruction as well as the removal of the mediport. I will be happy to see these particular scars fade away into nothingness. I won't miss them, or reminisce about how I got them, or expect to be fond of them. Instead, I will ignore them and act as if they were never there until they aren't. That might take years. I'll wait.
Go visit Mamakat and her awesomely helpful Writer's Workshop. You know you want to! 4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: Scarred