Archive | 9:38 PM

Day 79: scars, flesh, and blood

20 Mar

I scratched myself today.
I have no idea how I did it.

As I look at the little bubbles of red blood trying to scab over on my knee, I think: “I wonder if that scratch will scar?”

And, that would be okay.

Because I believe scars are beautiful.

Scars are like constellations on my body.
Reminding me where I have been and how I got there.

And, in some cases, how I got away from there.

I have a little white lined scar on my left arm, just up from my wrist. It’s left over from a childhood encounter with the ever-popular stationary motorcycle and some gravel.

My right leg has a little line running north to south. It’s remnant of our first summer on Martha’s Vineyard, and of all things, taking out the trash.

My left knee has a pretty gashed up scar from teenage summer nights spent playing sand volleyball.

And, then I have The North Star Scar.
It’s the Great Grandmother of them all.

It’s the stripe running up through my belly button, about 6 inches long. It starts at the base of my abdomen and stops just under my chest.

I wear it with pride.

It marks the spot where I used to have a spleen.

It also marks a point in time where I had to consider just what life meant. 

It reminds me that I am a cancer survivor, a thriver, a human on this planet making it through each and every day.

I have lived almost 20 years with this scar.

When I made it through the cancer treatments and then made my way to college, I would pull up my shirt to show it off.

It was actually pretty normal to hear me say,
“Want to see my scar?”

Seems almost foolish to me now.
But, this was back when the scar was fresh, I was a teenager, and life was very top of mind.

It was my prized souvenir.
It still is.

Sure, it’s a little crooked now.
The scar isn’t as straight or narrow as it used to be. Can’t blame it, she has  weathered years of weight gain and loss, sun streaks and stretch marks.

The star in the sky, the North Star, has historically been used for navigation, both to find the direction of north and to determine latitude.

My tummy scar has historically been a reminder that I am here on this planet to find my own True North.

When I am lost or confused, it is my navigator home.

Just rubbing my fingers up and down it’s pathway is enough to remind me to take a deep breath. To cherish my health and what I have.

And to wear a bikini.

While I won’t nonchalantly pull up my shirt anymore, I will sport the scar on the beach.  Why cover up a message of hope?

Let the North Star shine, I say.
That’s what stars (and scars) are supposed to do.
Remind us of the path taken and ultimately, our way home.

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