Her scar stretches across her skull, from one ear to the other, hidden at first behind a scarf, later by her hair, kept short partly for style, partly as a reminder. But it’s there, it’s always there, a faded smile left behind on her skin from the hands of doctors (or, if you prefer, the hand of God). The scar tells us to live and to love, to be patient and forgive, to pray and be thankful.
Twenty years ago this Saturday, I had hung the phone up on my mom after telling her “I don’t care if I never talk to you again.”
Angry words. Childish words. Stupid words.
Almost final words.
My mom lived, and since then I would argue that she’s thrived, putting the most into the last 20 years as possible. She is truly living.
And I’ve learned the power of words.
I mean that in the truest of sense because even though I’d been writing things long before her accident, I never really explored deeply personal things until her recovery. With a column for The Clay City Times, I recalled how the simple touch of her hand on my leg during a church service took me through a wide range of emotions, culminating with a calmness after discovering all would be well with the world through thanks to a mother’s touch.
Since then, I’ve gone on to write many things, most of which are trivial, a few of which are deeply important, but perhaps none as much as the one I wrote for Mother’s Day 2009 while in Haiti. It served as a message to my mom (and to my grandmother and sister, both of whom were also deeply affected by the accident), and I’m pleased to share it yet again today: To Our Mothers …
So that scar, the sign that the doctors stitched together her skin, repairing the damage that had been done, also lets me know the same has been done for my bond with her.
She is many things.
She is a miracle.
And she is my mother.
I love that scar.