Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Midweek reminder: A scar means I survived

And I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.
-Chris Cleave

My thyroidectomy scar is my most visible physical scar, by far. A four-to-five-inch line just inches below one's smile is somewhat obvious; seven and a half years later, though, it's pretty faint and most days it's easy to miss in the mirror. My only real reminder that I don't have a thyroid is the little blue pill I take every morning.

When I tell the story of that summer, how the lump was discovered and as we assessed it and watched it and I pondered options... how it became three lumps, then six, then dozens of little nodules before the whole messy mass was taken out... I am reminded that on good days and bad days, come hell or high water, one foot in front of the other is about the best you can hope for. That's how you get where you're going, one step at a time.

My beautiful scar is a reminder to me when I think I have to know how things are going to end up, and imagine that I can control all the bends in the road on the way, too. I can't. But I can take care of this step, and then that step, and bit by bit, one step at a time, I can get where I want to (need to) go.

My days are a balance between looking out to the horizon and looking down at my feet. Some days I'm better at looking out ahead, some days I feel like I'm staring at the dirt right in front of me. I'm thankful to live with a visionary who is good at helping me keep my eyes out ahead to the future, and I'm thankful to have the reminders (this one's on my body, and if I pause at the mirror, it's there) that sometimes not knowing how things are going to turn out can bring the greatest blessings of all.

4 comments:

  1. It's ironic- when I was a kid, I tried desperately to hide my scars (I have them across my back and all over my ankles and feet) but now I look at them with love. They are definitely badges of honor to me. But my daughter has a tiny scar on her nose from when her "friend" threw a rock at her, and it hurts my heart a little to see it and think that she hurt when it happened. So I try and look at my scars and remember that it's not all tough stuff, I need to show myself some tenderness.

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  2. Sorry you had to go through that time, Sherilee. but it was a time of pulling together for your father and you and me. So, that is another blessing that came from that time.

    Now there are scars we carry inside too that are badges of times when we survived and overcame...and that is another story.

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  3. Ma, you know that I don't wish I hadn't gone through it... quite a necessary journey to get to where I am. And yours and Pa's support: priceless. Thank you for that.

    And yes, internal scars are a whole 'nother blog post... for sure.

    xo

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