Letters to Lola: Scars
Our Editor in Chic writes a letter to her daughter about scars, and the decision to see them as blemishes or beautiful reminders.
When I was little, I fell off a swing and cut my leg. When bandaging me up, the nurse told me to be more careful because boys don’t like girls with scarred up legs.
That stuck with me, unfortunately. The once rough-and-tumble girl who hadn’t thought twice about bumps, bruises or cuts in the past was a lot more cautious, worried that her destiny with Prince Charming was now left in the lurch.
Turns out, I did find my Prince Charming in your daddy, and after 10 years, he still doesn’t care about that scar (or any of the other ones). I’ve actually been thinking a lot about what that nurse said lately, and how wrong she really was.
After the past three years, with your daddy’s double hip and double knee surgeries, he now has a lot of scars on his legs. At first he didn’t like them because they made him think about his missing “original parts.” But now, after everything has healed and he’s feeling MUCH better, we look at those scars to remind us of how far we’ve come.
See, the weird thing about the painful stuff in life is that your mind wants to wash it all away like the ocean. With each tide that comes in, the ruts in the sand fill in over time. But when you have a scar, it’s a physical reminder of what happened. It never goes back exactly how it was.
Your daddy and I both feel very thankful that he was able to have the surgeries, find a new drug therapy that works for him, and have great doctors by his side to get him through it. But the scars remind us of what our family went through – hoped/prayed/fought for – to get us to this much better place in life.
You’re very curious right now. The other day, you pointed at the scars on your daddy’s knees and asked “What’s that?” and I loved his response. He told you that’s where he got sick and the doctors sewed him back up to make him stronger.
And it hit me. That’s where the nurse was wrong. Scars don’t make you unattractive. Scars aren’t something to be ashamed of. Scars are reminders. Beautiful, permanent reminders that you’re stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. The playground wasn’t avoided in fear of bumps and bruises. You showed up. You played. Yes, you got hurt, but you also healed. And you’re forever changed because of it.