** This post was mean to be part of the Daily Prompt, but took much longer to write out.
A young man is getting ready for his high school graduation. Before puts on his brand new crisp white polo with crocodile on the on the chest, he looks in the mirror. His fingers run the length of his sternum, feeling where each suture must have been. He was only two years old when his heart started failing. If you ask his mom, the miracle happened the night of a full moon, after the doctors had just told her that her sweet baby boy only had about a month left, if a heart match was not found. While he was happy to be alive, he knew that someone’s life ended to save his. The transplant surgery lasted four hours and because he was so young, 6 months to recover and pray that his tiny body did not reject the heart. The scar is about 12 inches long; for the longest time he hated to take his shirt off in front of others. Now, he sees his flaw as a remembrance of how fragile life can be… each day he is able to play football, hang out with his friends, and sit down to dinner with his family, he is grateful for the person who breathed life back into him. His scar is a badge of honor.
A young mother looks in the mirror and grazes her hand against the half-moon scar on her left cheek. It has been 5 years since she saw him. She loved him once; they said their vows on the beach with the waves just touching the tops of their feet. He changed after the first year- when his temper seemed to explode out of no where. Anything would set him off: the bed not being made, the car not being parked just perfect in the garage, if she glanced in the direction of some man in the car next to them. At first he would just scream and emotionally brutalize her… then the hitting began. He would leave a bruise on her, but not where anyone could see. When she had her first black eye, she did not leave the house until it had completely faded. Each time he would apologize and promise it would never happen again. The last time he put his hands on her, she thought it would be her ending. The broken bottle dug into her tear-stained cheek and then across her abdomen. She was bleeding so much that she felt cold and numb to his fists. Just as she was about to lose consciousness, the police barged in, restrained this man she once loved, and took him away. Looking back and thinking about that time brings tears to her eyes, not because of the abuse, but because she survived. She now works with others who suffer abuse. When a new person comes to her, she has them touch her scar and tells them that it is proof that you can heal and overcome the pain.
She walks from one room to the other pulling up their covers and kissing them on the head. Peace and quiet finally settles in. Her husband is waiting on the couch downstairs for their one hour of time together before they call it a night. She looks exhausted; after a day of the baby teething and the twins bickering in the car on the way home from school, she longs for a few days away from the chaos. Her body no longer looks as it did before kids. As they sit in silence, staring at the TV, her husband reaches over and lifts her t-shirt just past her belly button. He bends over and kisses the 8 inch scar on her lower abdomen. A smile brightens her face. The c-section was necessary, as the one of the twins was in distress. She wanted natural labor, but with the seriousness of the situation, she would not be able to go without the drugs. One little cry, than two… the babies were healthy! They recorded each moment with thousands of pictures. The newest addition was a surprise, and due to the type of incision she was given, he too would have to enter this world the same way the twins did. Her husband traces the scar and even runs his hands over the stretch marks she has been given. She may not have the perfect body, but that scar reminds her, even with all the screaming, crying, and chaos, she is truly blessed!
Fireworks paint the sky, but he has escaped to the basement where the sound is most muffled. He has only been home for 3 months; his last tour was on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The media is not there as often, so people don’t know about the IED that his teams truck hit on the way back to base. He and his men had driven the same route for what seemed like a thousand times. This time was no different… they drive the route checking for unusual things, keeping their eyes peeled for any change in the environment. This group of men were like brothers to him. They had spent months together playing basketball on their make-shift court, bluffing each other in poker, and sharing pictures of their family and friends. On these daily trips they would have roasting wars to see who could come back with the best insult. Just one mile from their temporary home, while they were laughing at the most recent insult, it hit. There was no warning – just a loud explosion! The sound was deafening, yet it was not enough to drown out the screaming of the men he had formed an unbreakable bond with. Of the 7, only three survived, including him. As he stares down at the burn scars that cover his legs, the guilt overwhelms him. Yes, he survived…why him?
Scars can be reminders of survival, grief, life, and undeniable love. Not all scars are visable… many are emotional scars they take longer to heal than the ones you can see. Some bring smiles and joy, while others bring sadness and tears. We all have them, we all need time for them to heal.
Have a Blessed Day
Mom of 5 amazing kids, married to Shawn, retired teacher of 19 years, cares for a total of 9 pets (3 frisky cats and 6 great-tempered dogs), daughter, really amateur photographer, photoshopper, a football, wrestling, track, baseball, dance, and tumbling mom, zazzle designer, constant dieter, handles the budget, hates to cook, addicted to coffee, trying-to-quit smoker, TV potato, and passionate about writing.