There she was, all dressed up in elegant clothes, with red high heels and her long curly hair tamed in a fine pompadour. If you were watching from a distance, you would say that Ann had it all together. A year ago, she was in a wheelchair, and underneath those clothes, are multiple scars from repeated live saving surgeries.
During her routine commute to work, she fell asleep behind the wheel and lost control of the car. When she next awoke, she was in an ICU unit surrounded with lots of machines and “strangers”. “Where am I” she asked the nurse. “You are at the ICU of the Memorial Hospital; you have been here for 2 weeks now. You had a bad accident but you are doing well now”, replied the nurse.
Unbeknownst to Ann, she had suffered some head and bodily injury that required many surgeries. She had to be placed in a medically induced coma to control the pressure dynamics of the brain and to minimize the potential for any swelling and inflammation. 2 weeks of coma and 5 surgeries later, she finally “came to”. The nurses told her it was a miracle her head/brain injury was not as severe as expected. Notwithstanding, she was going to require a few more surgeries on her legs and arm.
Months of grueling physical therapy followed, with frequent checkups at the hospital. It was a long road to recovery but she eventually pulled through. During the recovery process, there were many outbursts of anger, and moments of depression. Anna blamed herself repeatedly each time she looked at the scars on her chest and leg. During one of her depressive bouts, a friend of hers stopped by and gave her some good counsel. Her words were:
“ Ann, I know you blame yourself for the accident, and rightly so, but you can’t continue to live life in the dumps. Instead of seeing the scars as a reminder of your mistake, view it as a miracle and another chance at life. You can’t change what has already happened but you can certainly make the best out of it. Those scars are from the live saving surgeries you had, without them, you would most likely be dead. So instead of being depressed, be thankful for the scars. Let them be a reminder of the day your life was spared. Let it also be a reminder of why you should never sleep behind the wheel, because you may not be so lucky next time around”.
There are many moments where we can feel like Ann. A decision made in haste, a business deal gone south, a wrong word said in anger, etc., etc. Because we are fallible humans, we are bound to err. The worst tragedy in life is not necessarily the mistakes we make, but rather our inability to learn from them and to evolve. So next time you see a “scar”, be thankful for it; make something beautiful out of it.
We all have scars (I know I have several), let no man convince you otherwise. :��g(