I was so tired. It was that time of the semester. Thursday. My end of the school week. I had mustered the strength to go to the Farmer’s market after class though. Eggs. Thyme. Olive oil. Smoked Turkey slices. Quinoa. Black beans. Onions. Bell peppers. Almonds. Haberneros. Several bags of Frozen organic veggies. An amazing bottle of a great find: Malbec $3.99. However, the Lamb shoulder cutlets were my special treat.
I pulled into the carport with a slight groan as I parked next to my housemate’s car. I had been enjoying the whole house to myself as she had been staying with her friend who was undergoing chemo. That meant no loud music today. Sigh.
I slung my large tote over my shoulder and grabbed all the bags from the trunk of my car. “I can do it all in one trip,” I thought. I shimmied between both cars in the tight carport for the split level house and fumbled with my key at the door. OK. Good. “Got this!” I entered the house, sure to scape the yellow pollen off the bottom of my shoes on the mat at the door.
“Hi there!” I yelled out. No answer. I listened closely. I walked through her kitchen, through her living room and realized the shower was on. I opened the door to my cozy one bedroom apartment. I surveyed the six steps down into my private sanctuary and thought I should put the groceries down and make a couple of trips. Instead, I said to myself, “I got this!”
I took one step down into my basement apartment. Stopped. Turned around to get the door with my right hand filled with groceries. I felt my tote bag begin to slip off my left shoulder.
The next thing I remembered was me laying sideways on the hardwood floor, feeling the trickle of blood pool into my left closed eye. I lifted my head to make sure I was still alive and I saw a squirt of clear liquid erupting from above my eye. I had fallen down the steps and hit my head on a corner wall.
“O, my God. I pray that is in my hairline and not on my forehead. I do not want an ugly scar. I am fine. O, my God, my brains are erupting out of my head. I will never be smart again. What if I cannot speak properly? What if I have to drop out of school because I have lost significant cognitive function? I cannot tolerate being stupid the rest of my life. Well, if you just came up with the term ‘cognitive function’ you probably are just fine. Now, let us move on to the rest of the body. Did you break any bones and are you in pain? I am fine.” I literally blurted out all of these words simultaneously, while laying there on the floor.
My housemate came running down the steps, “Are you ok? OMG! Are you ok?”
“I am just fine,” I said, “I am just going to lay here on the ground and see if I can get it together to get up in a second. Let me just rest here.”
“No, you are not fine. There is blood everywhere. Did you pass out?” She asked.
“No. I do not think I passed out but I am not sure where this blood is coming from,” I said.
She said, “You have a nasty gash on your forehead. Here let me help you get up.”
Sue probably weighs about 105 lbs soaking wet and is about my height. She could barely grab an arm around my body to help me get up.
“What do you mean I have a gash on my forehead? Are you sure it is not on the top of my head? I do not want a gash on my forehead. I sure hope it is coming from my head where my hair can hide it. I cannot afford to look that ugly” I asked her seeking out her face.
She looked at me with sheer incredulity as she tried to mask her face at my ridiculous response.
We managed to get me up and the first thing I did was go to the mirror. “O my God, It is a lie. I am soooo ugly now. Jesus, why? Why? Why? I just want to be pretty and smart. I am already fat enough as it is. Why!!!!”
My housemate, in her most solid British cockney accent said, “Please shut up and let us figure out if you have a concussion.”
I ended up getting seven stitches on my forehead. I rub the scar with Mederma multiple times a day. I may start wearing bangs even though I do not like my hair in my face.
Over the weeks, I have thought about wounds: Physical ones, emotional ones and even spiritual ones. How do we heal them so effectively that they become scars that benefit our lives? Scars memorialize our lives: this wonderful life that just refuses to be perfect, that finds wounds to embrace, that makes sure its mark is left on us, body, soul and spirit.
Scars are holy. A friend said they are proof that we have lived.
Physical wounds on the body naturally heal. There is a process. I got stitches. It was sore for a few days. It healed up and then I could put cream on it yet it was sore underneath. But a few weeks later, it is not as noticeable and over time, it will almost fade completely away.
But do our emotional and spiritual wounds heal quite as nicely? Many of us have emotional wounds from childhood, unresolved issues, which refuse to scar up because we keep them alive by opening them up over and over again. We see our lives through the lens of those wounds. We do not hope that there is a greater life beyond those wounds. But there is….
What wound are you nursing, refusing to let it scar up?