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 It’s been about three weeks since the lumps in my shins were removed.  I’ve healed up pretty well, but I’ve developed some interesting scars–I guess that’s what 70 stitches will do to the skin on your legs.   This got me thinking about scars.  I don’t mind them–they seem to give a guy character.  I can say that because I don’t have any real gnarly, Tony Montana-type scars.  Chicks dig scars, right?  At first glance, the only real lasting damage I have to my face is my nose–it was abused repeatedly when I wrestled in high school; it has suffered greatly with my general inability to move quickly to my left when I’ve been in fights; and it continues to endure further torture with my continually clumsy movements (and my general propensity to trip over everything.)  But I decided to do an inventory of the scars, bumps, and other randomness I have:

  • I have a scar between my knuckles from a fight from when I was about 23.
  • I have a six-inch scar just below my left kneecap from a trailer hitch that was in my way one night.
  • I have a faded scar on my left elbow from when I was about 10 years old–I went over my Stingray handlebars on a gravel road.
  • I have a lump on my middle finger from a break I received my senior year of high school at a wrestling tournament.  No, it’s not from overusing my middle finger, but that if that were medically possible…
  • I have a bone in my foot that is out of place from a break that didn’t heal as well as it should have.

I have no tattoos…yet.  Neither one of my older brothers have them either–at least, not that I know about.  I think that’s in part because my mother used to threaten to take them off of us with a potato peeler if any of us turned up for Christmas with new ink.  And now that she has Terminator-style titanium parts in various places, I don’t think any of us want to mess with her.  

Scars are real reminders of the mistakes we make or abuse we have suffered.  They’re different than other first-aid issues, like bruises or contusions, because they’re permanent.  If and when I get my skin surgery, I will have a huge reminder of the mistake I made in waiting so long to face both my issue and my fear.

I think as we move through life, we leave our mark on the world–and conversely, it makes sense that life might leave its mark on us, good or bad.  I hope that my mark on the world makes a difference.  I remember reading something in a book once–can’t remember the title or the author, but I do recall something they said–it was something to the effect that the only real validation of our existence was our impact on other people.  I think they were talking about the marks (hopefully not scars) we make on the lives of others. 

I hope my impact is positive.

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