Friday, January 23, 2015

Scar tissue is our roadmap.

Like you, I have my share of scars.  I’ve been fortunate enough in all my adventures to still have all ten fingers and toes, so I’m doing okay.  I’m going to pick my left leg out as an example and focus only on the area below my knee and above the ankle.  I have 4 very visible scars and three of them have happened while geocaching.

The oldest I received in an injury about 50 years ago and it is about 2 inches long and looks like a knife wound.  I haven’t recalled what caused it in so long, that the memory is lost.  The most recent happened this past year when I was stung by a ground hornet in Pedernales Falls State Park.  It happened on October 24th and appears now as a dime-size brown spot.  I imagine it will remain that way, just like the spider bite above it.

I got that one 3 years ago, also while geocaching.  The hornet sting is a ditto of it.  Right at the top of my calf is a 3 inch long slice scar I got while geocaching in palmetto plants over close to Beaumont.  Did you know that stuff will slice you like a hot knife in warm butter?  It will.

None of these have left a mental scar on me though and that’s a good thing.  The dang hornet is one I don’t want to repeat, but I haven’t lost any sleep over it.  My friend Larry Houston is fond of repeating my quote about wearing shorts when in the woods, “If the British can conquer the whole world in shorts, I can go geocaching in them.”  He is a long pant advocate when stomping through grass that is often over our heads..

“Well, it’s danged hot here on the Gulf Coast of Texas” I am fond of retorting, but I imagine my legs look more beat-up than his.  Now mind you, only an MMA fighter, spelunker, BASE jumper, or bank robber goes into their activity wondering what it is going to feel like if everything goes wrong.  I don’t.  I prepare the best I can for my activity and eliminate as many potentially dangerous obstacles in advance.

Then I begin my adventure.  Make a note here I am talking about driving on Garth Road at noon.  Not really, but every one of us that gets behind the wheel of a car needs to remember it might be our last normal day on earth.  As a side note, nearly every day I watch someone run through a red light to save one meaningless minute of travel time.

Your scars and mine define who we are and where we’ve been.  They are a roadmap of our adventures, albeit painful ones.  I have one between my eyes by my nose where I ran headlong into an aquarium in the dark when I was in Junior High.  It opened me up like a machete on a can of Spam.  I looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.  Man, I still remember the impact.  I don’t think a ball bat to the head would hurt any more than that did.

These physical scars prepare us for the worst kind of injuries life will bring – the emotional kind.  As bad as the physical wounds are, they often pale to what life drops on our noggin.  Just like the hornet and spider injuries, we must pick ourselves up and go on.  No one can do it for us.  Only time can heal both types of injuries, but rest assured, the scars will remain.

This week I had a dear lady drop off a couple of computers for me to repair and in the course of chatting, she revealed she had lost her boyfriend 2 months ago and in a moment of sympathy, I blurted, “Why, you are still wounded.”  Both of us began to cry, as I too have experienced loss.  The hurt is deep, real deep.  She apologized and I then told her my own story.

What I told her is the deepest truth.  Although I had suffered loss, it was not the same as hers and I couldn’t rightly tell her I know what she is going through.  No one can at a time like this.  I did however tell her that as time passed, it would get better, but only if she worked at it.  “No one can pull you out of loss and depression but you.”  Mind you I am not saying God won’t be there for you, because he will if you lean on him.  I am talking about friends and family.  Try as they might, only you can pull you back to happiness.

She said “I think about him every minute of every day.”  I told her one day she will be shocked to realize 30 minutes has passed.  “How long does this take?”

I told her it was up to her, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t take a year or two, or three.  You see, the scar is there for life, but we can learn to bear it and continue on.  Our scars are what define us and if we do not break, they make us stronger.


Anonymous said...

Dandy Don Cunningham‎:
Your article on 'scar tissue' this morning in The Baytown Sun was excellent, brother. There is much truth in what you said. It will get better. Everyone is different.

Anonymous said...

Melvin Roark: Waiting on my paper this morning so I can read the article... Well I decided to click on your link and read on line. It was a very good story concerning something we all have to face it life. Thanks for sharing and have a great day my friend.

Anonymous said...

Isela Garcia: Thank you!! Great read and greatly appreciated. In time, this scar will start to heal... In time...

Anonymous said...

Sandi White: Very thoughtful and compassionate post. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Ruthie Ames: Always wonderful to read your thoughts my friend. Speaking of loss and speaking of scars, there are those of us who are looking forward to perfected bodies once we leave this life. I believe that those 'perfect' bodies will still have every 'scar' we ever had... And they will be beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Of greatest recent interest is your article on the removal of the red light cameras and hazardous driving conditions in Baytown.
Baytown driving conditions and streets were the safest in our 30 plus years of residency while the red light cameras were in place.
Perhaps one reason is the (unfortunately) limited Baytown Sun circulation when compared with the total city population led to a lack of understanding of the specific camera locations.
Even though we read the Sun daily, we did not pay attention to the exact location of the cameras, and instead simply increased our attention to full, complete stops before right turns on red to avoid the rolling right turn citation and watching for stale green lights.
The risk of being rear-ended for properly stopping at a light has always been a potential danger from those who habitually run red lights.

Driving through Baytown, we continually and routinely witness trucks and cars that run red lights without hardly slowing to look, risking the lives of countless innocent law-abiding drivers and their families.

We have long wondered how in the world the vote resulted in the majority vote to rescind the red light cameras??
What responsible and law-abiding citizen would vote to remove such an obviously proven safety enhancement to protect our families when driving on the streets of Baytown??
Everyone that we know believed emphatically that the red light cameras were improving safety on our streets, and the subject was a common topic of discussion!

Given the extremely low percentage of voter turn out, we are completely perplexed at the outcome on this issue.
We have assumed some common goals and beliefs to be rather commonly held by that limited population percentage that actually turns out to vote in our elections. Are we to assume that one of the commonly held beliefs of our limited voter population is that we do not have to obey traffic laws and that the violation of traffic laws poses no safety risk to local drivers and their families??
Is irresponsibility and lack of accountability the most prominent value of our limited voting population??
We find it hard to believe that the over-riding priority is to be able to break traffic laws without impunity nor regard for the dangers such actions pose to innocent drivers, pedestrians, and their families!

So what would it take to bring this issue back to vote and try to re-establish the red light cameras to improve the driving safety for the residents of Baytown?? We should be moving forward with technological improvements to enhance the quality of our community life, not retreating and returning to the dark days of more limited management techniques.


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