I talked to my step-dad the other day, as I do every week or two, to check in and see how he’s doing. He’s in an assisted living facility in Missouri and at 81, he still gets around quite well. Still, his adult life has been filled with surgeries, health scares and “procedures”, as the older generation likes to refer to minor surgeries.
I started thinking about all the scars he’s collected on his body over the past 30+ years. The large scar on his chest from open heart surgery, the same scar my own dad has from the same surgery several years ago, numerous back surgeries resulting in scars on his back, and the literally dozens of smaller scars from a life of building, renovating and home projects that are too numerous to even remember where they all came from.
Last week I had 2 areas, or chunks, as me and my wife like to refer to them, taken out of my body. One on my calf and the other on my lower back (the picture on this post is my view while they were cutting away). The scars will probably be about 2 inches long but for the most part, not noticeable given the location. Overall, a painless process and one that saved me from developing melanoma.
But it’s not just older people. Kids break wrists, arms, and even legs. Women have babies and along with it the cesarean scars and stretch marks to prove it. All of these marks and scars though are a testament to living. They tell a story and remind us of experiences, both good and bad; a birth, too much sun on vacations, or simply bad genetics from our parents.
Instead of obsessing over how they look though, as I have a tendency to do, we would be much better off looking at these scars and all the changes to our bodies as our resiliency in the face of everything life has thrown at us. And that, in the end, is something to be proud of.