Monday, January 20, 2014

Scars: Healing with time.


 It's fitting that I write this post today, because one year ago to the day I wrote a post on my personal blog on the same subject. Elliott's scar. For a long time that scar simply reminded me of how fragile my son was and how different our life would be as a heart family. Sometimes it made me a bit queasy, taking me back to the days when I sat by his bedside in the hospital while they left his chest open, literally seeing his heart beating under a thin piece of sterilized gauze and plastic. Thankfully, scars fade with time. What I hated about that scar in the first weeks it appeared hasn't phased me much lately. These days I talk about Elliott's open heart surgery with a certain nonchalant tone as if everyone has had open heart surgery at some point in their life.

The truth is, while our scars have faded, I can't un-see the things I've seen. I've seen way too much in my short stint as a mama and I wish I could just wipe it all from my memory. I can't. I will always have moments when I am taken back to that hospital room in the cardiac unit. Visiting the echo-cardiogram lab will always leave a bad taste in my mouth. It's like an old tennis injury, acting up when the weather is cold or you're particularly stressed. Elliott's scar will fade, but it will never, ever leave him. The scarring left behind on my own heart feels like it's slower to heal, and my nonchalant tone isn't a total coverup because I still have to talk about Elliott's surgery to anyone who will listen.

Thank goodness for time. Time heals wounds. While we will be looking at another open heart surgery some day in the future, in the present we spend time healing. Elliott is going about his days as a silly toddler having no recollection (thankfully) of his surgeries. His scar is hardly recognizable, and maybe someday we'll sit with him on the couch with some ice cream and tell him the story of how it got there.

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