One of the many superpowers given to mothers is the ability to decipher meanings from certain sounds from our children. With the slightest peep we know whether to feed them, defend them, or yell in their general direction, “OMG, stop whining!”
Unfortunately, today I heard the type of cry that makes a mother’s heart stop dead in her chest. A bone chilling scream echoed from the bedroom and when I charged through the doorway the first thing to catch my eye was blood pouring from my little boy’s side.
Thankfully, the wound was not severe enough for stitches, but as I assured him earlier, “It’s gonna leave a really cool scar!”
On my right knee I carry a scar from a bicycle accident in the fourth grade. The doctor gave me a cream that, I swear, melted the scabs off every time they tried to form. I don’t remember what it was called, but I’m pretty sure the main ingredient was battery acid. I spent the next few weeks on crutches.
Twenty years later, when I look at the purplish discoloration across my kneecap, I don’t remember falling of the bike–I remember the battery acid and my bruised armpits from the crutches.
Isn’t that often the case with scars? The healing process is often more memorable than the initial injury. It certainly takes longer and is often more painful.
I consider the many scars I have that are unseen. The deep gashes left in my heart, my relationships, and in my spirit from choices I’ve made in my life. Bad decisions are easy. They are usually quick and even, initially, painless. It’s the recovery from them that is so bitterly agonizing.
While writing The Bed She Made I really had to inspect a lot of my old scars. I had to write about them, talk about them, and relive them in my dreams. The beautiful thing about dredging up the past has been that I can honestly say that they truly are JUST SCARS. The pain is gone. The wound is healed. All has been forgiven. The scars are not eternal penance for my sins, but simply a reminder to never turn back.