Until recently if you had asked me to tell you the first thing I thought when you said the word scar I would have probably said unattractive or ugly. I might have said hurt, wounded, or damaged.
If you asked me the same question today I would say beautiful, amazing, healed, repaired, strengthened, improved. You may be asking yourself why my answer would be so different. The reason is simple. My Sweet G now, for the first time in his life has about 10 scars on his body. Up until his tendon lengthening surgery his skin was perfect, flawless.
The reason he had no scars on his body at almost eight years old is because of his cerebral palsy (CP). That may not make sense to you so I will explain. CP has robbed G of countless opportunities. He has never taken a step without physically holding onto something for support. He didn’t toddle around the living room as a baby. He has never been able to go outside alone, go into the bathroom independently, or get out of his bed without someone there to assist him. He has never felt the wind on his face as he runs through the grass on a spring day. His heart has never raced after a thrilling game of tag. He has never played hide and seek or climbed a tree. When I saw G’s unblemished skin I saw all the absence of bumps and bruises he has missed out on because of his CP.
I may sound like a nutcase but I mourn the fact that I have never cleaned up a skinned knee or picked a splinter out of his little finger. Anyone with children knows that a typical child goes through hundreds of bandages. Some are necessary while others only provide comfort or serve as a badge of pride. I still have a vivid image of T sitting on the bathroom counter, his knee skinned and bleeding. He has tears running down his little face as I clean his boo-boo and cover it with a band-aid. I can still smell the disinfectant and the scent of a freshly opened band-aid. I don’t have those memories of G.
I caught a glimps of G’s scars as we rode in the car today. What will others think when they see them? I couldn’t help comparing G’s physical scars to the emotional scars we all carry. In the beginning the thing that caused the scar was painful. Slowly over time healing begins to take place. Soon there is a scar where the damage had been. At first the scar is very obvious but as time passes it fades and becomes less noticeable.
The scars on Sweet G’s legs serve as a beacon of hope to me. They remind me that we have new possibilities in front of us. His scars show that he has been improved, stretched farther than in my wildest imagination. He stands taller and prouder than before. The progress he has made is amazing. We are moving in a new direction. Sometimes it gets lonely and a little scary but we stay together and find strength to make it through another day. Each day gets brighter as we move along knowing that we did the right thing even though it wasn’t easy.