I looked in the mirror and I saw my scars – left behind from all my surgeries and my brush with death.
It’s funny how something as ugly as a scar can be a beautiful reminder of the second chance you’ve been given at living!
It makes you more aware of all the things you take for granted, all the fleeting moments that suddenly, you’re so thankful for.
It changes what you value and what you’re prepared to accept and tolerate. It makes you aware of how much life we waste and how little time we actually have.
It changes you… Not the scar itself, but the reason that scar found a way to your body. The way it got there, the journey. Changes you!
Over the course of the last three years, people have responded differently to my scars. Sympathetic, judgemental, unkind, supportive… I’ve heard it all.
A doctor I met for a medical to get my visa’s to come to New Zealand looked at me and said “oh you must want to hide these scars all the time” and I didn’t even know how to react at first. Eventually, when the breath found its way back into my lungs I said, well, actually I’m not ashamed of them they remind me that I lived. She changed the subject.
Someone else suggested that “since you love tattoos so much why don’t you cover them up” and the answer is simple – I don’t use tattoos to cover up the things I want to hide. My tattoos are a part of me – a part of me I wear with pride, ironically, just like my scars.
You see, I am not ashamed of the scars on my body. They aren’t ugly to me. They are beautiful reminders of the time I almost died, but didn’t.
My scars remind me of every minute of life I’m living that I almost missed out on.
I watch my son play and I am thankful that I get to know him, this beautiful child who is independent and carefree and couldn’t give two hoots about what you think of him wearing one of each of different sneakers. Intentional, so he can have batman and spiderman on his feet at once. This child of mine who is changing and growing and making me laugh and I get to be here and see this.
These scars remind me of the fight I gave to be here. To live. To remain alive.
These scars say I did not back down when death came knocking.
These scars remind me I am a warrior – a fighter – a survivor.
Death tried to take me and I fought that battle and I won.
So not, I’m not ashamed. No I don’t want to cover them up with a tattoo. No, I won’t hide them from anyone. These scars are my trophies.
Thankful for the 3 years I’ve lived since it all started for me.
Three magical years of being a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter… and so much more that I nearly missed out on. Grateful.