“I was thinking, do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, 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 Cleve, Little Bee
I have a tiny scar on my left knee from when I was small. It was the late 60’s and car safety was not a priority. Our lumbering off-white Opal was a moving danger pit. We children usually knew how to avoid the hazards of the back seat, but one time as I was getting out of the car, I caught my leg on a stray wire. The cut was deep. Blood flowed profusely. I became queasy. Of course, there was no quick trip to the emergency room for stitches and antibiotics. This was parenting back then. “You’ll be fine. Here’s a Flintstone bandaid and some Tang. Now go back out and play.”
This tiny scar always reminds me of the perils of life. Our world is full of loose wires that can cause deep wounds. We wander in and out of crises, trying to protect ourselves with airbags, security systems, and firearms. Yet, we still cut. We still bleed. We still want mom to kiss our boo boos and make it all better.
Along with the scar on my knee, I also have a slightly curved line under my protruding belly from my two C-sections. This scar is a badge of courage, that motherhood can cut through skin straight to the heart. It is my tattoo of love.
Many of my family and friends sport scars. Some are from life-saving surgeries. Some from careless accidents. Others from sports played years ago. Each one of these scars has its own pain, its own story.
All of us have scars. Some are visible. Some are tucked away. Some are hidden deep inside our hearts. A scar reminds us we are human. Our scars remind us we are alive. A scar reminds us we can survive.