When I was about 3 years old, my family was on vacation at a friend’s beach house. I wanted to goto the water, and my older sister Marilee convinced me to get on the back of her bike so we could get there quicker. I distinctly remember NOT wanting to ride with Marilee, as I much preferred the company and protection of my oldest sister, DeeAnn. As we were riding, my small foot got caught in the chain and sprocket of the bike, effectively ripping off half my heel. I remember screaming as I was carried back to the house. My father picked me up and placed me in a stainless steel sink to rinse the wound. “Don’t worry, Dr. Henry is here,” I responded that my mother was a nurse, but he was NO doctor. I don’t remember much else, but I still have a misshapen ankle and a 3-4 in long by 1-inch wide scar on my heel. This is my earliest memory, that is in my consciousness, and not a creation from the stories people tell. Losing half a foot will kind of burn into your brain.
I have accumulated other scars over the years. More bike spills, as an adult. Carpel tunnel surgery on my left wrist. A nice one on my face from a staph infection sometime during my 30’s. A belly full of them from my misguided lap band adventure and subsequent Mexican removal. Breast implants and liposuction on my “American thighs” have left their mark in the mix as well. When these scars were new and raw, the pain can be all-consuming. However, once the throbbing and redness fade, the body can begin to heal, and the mind can think of other things.
I’m making an obvious analogy here. We all get hurt. We all fall down. Some of these wounds are at the hands of others, while many are self-inflicted. But eventually, we all heal. We all slowly and stiffly get back up and start the fucking cycle all over again. It’s human nature. Because, what choice do we have? There is getting up and trying again, or there is stagnancy and death.