Battle Wounds

Do you have a scar or two? I imagine most of us do, but I think I may possibly have more than the average bear. For some reason I was cataloguing my scars last night, sort of like counting the rings on a tree. Each one has its own story, and while pain was certainly part of the package, I think more of the healing and growth that they have brought me.
My first scar is a teeny one, on my forehead, and usually concealed by my curly bangs. I got this scar when I was about 2 or 3 years old. According to family legend, I walked into a door, and cracked my “head open.” That was the term that was always used, so in addition to setting a precedent for a lifetime of extreme clumsiness, it also resulted in my belief for years that my skull was as thin as Humpty Dumpty’s.
My next scar was also the result of my stellar clumsiness. It is on my right knee. It was originally created by a fall at the Renaissance Faire. This was after my Drench a Wench days; I was just a visitor, and happily tripping through the fair in a sweet white sundress. Until I actually tripped and my sundress suddenly became decorated with a brilliant splash of crimson. That accident earned me a trip to the first aid tent where I was lovingly tended to by a very cute medic. Suddenly, it just didn’t hurt that bad.
Unfortunately, the knee scar was reopened several years later, in one of my most embarrassing incidents. I was at a party, a reunion of sorts, of old friends. I was walking through the living room, glass of red wine in my hand, and I smacked, hard and fast, against a low lying coffee table, flew over it, sweeping the contents of the table with me, and landing in a pile of nuts, broken glass, chocolate, blood and utter humiliation. On a white carpet. I can still remember seeing the horrified looks on my friends’ faces as I sailed across the room. Horror mixed with amazement at the height and breadth of my flight. It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny then. Not at all. This may be why I only drink white wine.
My abdomen is like a galaxy of small scars, the visible souvenir of multiple laparoscopies over the course of about a decade. I won’t go into the cause and effect of all of those procedures, except to say if I hadn’t gone through all of that, what could have been a very serious health issue was almost serendipitously discovered and removed. I thank my lucky stars for my little tummy constellations, and consider the most recent additions, from my appendix rupture this summer, yet another reminder of my good fortune.
My deepest scar is invisible. It’s where a piece of my heart was broken, 5 years ago this coming Christmas. That’s when one of the people I loved and trusted the most, decided it was time to tell me what a failure I was, and listed, in great detail, my every flaw and fault. He then walked out of my life, after 35 years of friendship. There was enough truth in there to hurt deeply, and it took me a long time to, not get over it, I don’t think I ever will, but rather move past it. Of course I am flawed. I am human. But true love loves in spite of flaws. Thankfully, I am old enough now, and confident enough to know that a person who could do this, so heartlessly, battles their own demons. I love myself, and whoever else comes along on that ride, is a beautiful and wonderfully blessed bonus
My latest, and by far most impressive scar, is on my left leg. It is so spectacular, it is actually laughing at my right knee scar and calling it “Girlie Man.” A few weeks ago, I went in to have a very small growth removed. I didn’t realize that this would involve cutting out an inch in each direction to make sure the margins were all healthy. It hurt like the dickens, and I came home with 12 stitches, and not delicate ones. When they were removed, I was left with an angry red scar about 3.5 inches long, that actually indents. The few people I have shown it to, who were perhaps thinking I was exaggerating for dramatic effect, have all had the exact same response: Whoa! I was a little dismayed by this scar, since it is below the shorts line, but I have since decided to wear it proudly. And claim it was caused by a shark attack, in an unfortunate surfing incident. Soul Surfer style, lucky I made it out alive.
It’s an imposing list, right? And I didn’t even mention the nice long scar from my new bionic foot, or some other scars that are a bit too delicate to mention, save for saying that my back hurts much less, and it sure is easier to shop for bathing suits. But each scar is proof that I survived the battle, and while some of them were much harder fought than others, I’ll wear them all as medals of honor, a mark of survival and overcoming challenges. Except for the one on my leg, that was just a hungry shark.
The end, for now

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