10 April 2015

Scars for the Memory

I was doing some online research into taking care of the scar left over from my open-heart surgery. I'd heard I was supposed to stay out of the sun, or cover it with sunscreen or tape or whatever. Along the way I found some sites where people discussed their feelings about their scars.

Some people said they were sad about their scar ("I feel so sad and stressed about my scar. Sometimes I cry when I’m in the shower") and others talked about how happy they were with their scar (“They are my battle scars earned and gloriously celebrated as such”) and lots of other feelings in between.

I was taken aback by the wide range of feelings about scars mostly because no such thoughts ever crossed my mind. I neither loved nor hated my scar. It was the result of needed surgery and was now part of me -- not good or bad, just there.

So, I started contemplating my scar. What did I think of it? It's there and doesn't bother me either physically or aesthetically, my spouse says he doesn't mind seeing it and, so far, it's not scared any neighbor children. So, I guess I really didn't feel anything about it at all. I mean, I'm not defined by this scar or any of the other scars on my body, just like I'm not defined by my thinning hair, my blue-green eyes, or the fact that one leg is a tiny bit shorter than the other.

Soon enough, my scar is supposed to fade to the point where it'll be hard to see. We'll see if that happens but, until then, expect to see me at the pool or working in the yard. I'll be the guy with the big scar down the middle of his chest.

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