Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

September 6, 2013

Proof of Life


Summer is at it's close, the months of endless days have turned into full days of school for both the boys and for the first time in a long time I have both time and internet (finally!) to begin blogging again. It's been a long and at the same time very short summer. June and July seemed to drag along and then all of a sudden it was August and now here we are in September a full five weeks post op. It's amazing. 

On August 28th Josh went for his one month post op ECHO. The results were ASTOUNDING! The doctor smiled and said that the regurgitation is so mild that it's almost not worth mentioning, and the valves are not leaking. Just a month and a half ago Josh couldn't walk to the park without needing rest, last Monday we spent the entire day at the Island where Josh walked, ran, played with his brother & friends; not once did he ask to be carried, not once did he say he needed a rest, not once did I observe him and feel the quaking fear that comes with knowing that his heart is failing. He's eating more than ever before, and now, just a few days into his new school he's a happy energetic little boy. 


Scars tell of a battle fought and won. They emerge in a red, then white, often jagged line across the wounded area. They shout out to those who see it “Look what I have been through!” and “Look what I survived!” I remember the first time Josh went into surgery and right before they took him in I traced my finger down his still perfect white chest and I ached that it would never be perfect again. I mourned that loss long before we went into the OR that day. No longer would people look at Josh and say ‘He looks so perfect’, instead they would see the line, or zipper as it’s been named in the CHD world. That feeling when I look at the scar has changed over the years, gone is the mourning, the sorrow and the fear that someone will stare, that feeling has been replaced now with one of pride because it screams ‘I survived!’ at me with every glance of his still beautiful skin. I hope to teach him to take pride in his battle scars; I hope that one day they will embody for him all that they do for me.

I was in a plastic surgeons office a few weeks ago, I have to have a biopsy done (nothing crazy serious) and so I met to him to discuss the surgery. As I sat in the office I noticed all the posters for creams that promise a miracle cure to making scars invisible, the doctor himself talked to me about what my scar will look like, and promised to make it look good. I almost laughed because it was so in keeping with my thoughts of late. I remember after my first C-section I was so upset about the scar, it bothered me horribly but after my second C-section I realized that it was proof of life. Proof that my boys came from my body, that I carried them, nurtured them and gave them life. I have never thought too much of scars, they were something that happened over the course of a life, but lately I have noticed that scars almost always come with a negative connotation. The bad guys in the films almost always have scars, beauty is rarely seen in them and yet I look at Josh and I don’t see an ugly red/white line. I see the symbols it represents, the bravery, the fight, the healing heart beneath. When he looks at the scar, the same one that has often caused him shame; he now declares ‘I have no leaks, see!’ and pulls up his shirt for you to see.

I look at Joshua’s marred and yet beautiful chest and I see the same thing I see when I look at my C-section scar. Proof of life.