The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don’t it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are?
- The Goo Goo Dolls; Name
I often think about this song; especially the line “scars are souvenirs you never lose.” My friend Christine is recovering from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. She is well on her way through recovery, but she will never be the same. She recently posted this quote from Khalil Gibran:
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
A friend responded with this quote from Chris Cleave:
“We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.”
The song by the Goo Goo Dolls goes on to say that the past is never far. This is so true when you are looking at your scars. I see my scars every day. Yes, every day. There are mirrors in my bathroom, and when I step out of the shower I am reminded of who I am today. I am lucky I didn’t lose myself, though that could easily happen to any of us faced with tragedy.
I’m not sure I understand the line “don’t it make you sad to know that life is more than who we are?” because I am glad that life is more than just me or just who I am. In fact, life is more than just individuals and how we interact. In so many ways the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. What we give to each other through our actions, friendships and love is bigger than just you and me. That legacy goes on through the years and can touch generations. In fact, I am touched today by people I never met because someone, at some time, had an impact on my parents, my siblings, my friends. Yes, life is more than who we are. And no, it don’t make me sad.
I don’t like my scars. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either. I look at them and they are a reminder of days (and months) gone by. In some ways I have accepted them as part of who I am now. It’s almost like they’ve always been there, and it has been less than six years. My scars are deep. I will never be whole again. At least not physically. And while my scars are souvenirs I’ll never lose, I have emerged stronger and my scars mean that I survived.