Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have a scar under my chin. I gave it to myself when I was about 3 or 4. I was jumping in a pool backwards and my mom had been pushing me to make sure that her impetuous, head strong daughter cleared the edge of the pool. After jumping in a few times, I told my mom that I could do it myself. She asked if I was sure and then sat nervously nearby. True to the impulsive, reckless nature I would show my whole life…when I jumped, I didn’t jump far enough. I remember going in and hitting the water, I remember the sting of the chlorine and the ringing pain in my jaw…and I remember the water that slowly began to turn red as blood gushed from the cut under my little chin. What I remember the most, though, was the look on my mom’s face. This mixture of pain, guilt, love and fear has been on my mom’s face numerous times over the years and whenever I catch it, I feel awe. I’m not a mother and I don’t know if I will ever be one so I cannot begin to understand how she can feel all those emotions in all that depth all at once and not immediately faint from the sheer energy it should take to feel a single emotion, let alone all of them at once.

I was the first daughter of a woman who was raised on a farm in Ohio and a son who was raised in sunny California. Each came to the union bringing a love that was so pure and unique that I have rarely seen it since. A decision was made 32 years ago that they would love honor and cherish each other for all the days of their life together…and not once have I heard or seen them question that decision. The two worked hard to lay a foundation of safety, security and comfort for my two sisters and me.

Not once did I wonder if I was loved deeply.

Not once did I question the commitment my parents had to not only each other but to the family that they worked so hard to grow.

If you get a love like theirs, I don’t care what you have to do to hold on to it. If you don’t have a love like theirs, don’t sit on the ground kicking the rocks and lamenting your lack of wonder. CREATE it! It can be done. I truly believe that. What does this seemingly perfect (almost vomit inducing) love that my parents share have to do with scars? The fact that even these two people who have found and maintained happiness for so long have scars. I know for a fact. I gave some of them to my parents.

Scars get a bad rap, though. People think that scars should be hidden. That you should take out your long sleeve shirt and pull it down around yourself so no one can see what you’ve inflicted on yourself.
Scars aren’t ugly, they’re beautiful. A person cannot go through life without scars. The slightly puckered flesh should not be a reminder of what happened, rather it should be a reminder of what you came through, what it is that you thrived from.

If your still nursing a wound, it’s not too late to recover. It’s never too late to come out of something and thrive from the experience. No matter what your age is. In certain instances, it does take time to come back from something. But it’s never too late to realize that you can get through something… matter what it is. All it takes is a pinpoint of light in an otherwise darkened space. When you see that little pinpoint of light hold on it, that little bit of light will get you through. You will trip in this life, you will fall in this life, you will hurt in this life. But you will also love in your life, you will have joy in your life, you will have fun in your life, you will have moments in your life that will take your breath away and wish for time to stop just so that you can enjoy the moment for just a fraction longer. These moments will not be as wonderful without your scars.
My mom has a scar under her chin as well, courtesy of me when I was 9. Both of my sisters have one as well. While some might call us clumsy, I like to think this little anomaly we all share is something that links us together.

So this scar on my chin? It’s not just a misshapen reminder of a mistake that I made when I was young.

But it is a visual reminder that I am loved. And I am loved deeply and forever.

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