Monday, July 5, 2010

Scars & Stripes

My childhood was inundated with countless wonderful events and memories with Mama, Daddy, my brothers (Mark and Steve) and many multi-generational grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  "Stripes" definitely prevail with countless positive experiences and memories.  We didn't realize when we were growing up that others didn't have such a robust posse of relatives.  Though my childhood was blessed predominately with positives, a fading scar brought reality and remembrance to my idyllic childhood.

 My cousins and I were playing chase at my grandparent's remote farm.  I vividly remember lots of running and laughs before I slipped on the gravel and badly cut my knee. Though my Mother immediately (realistically) wanted to take me back to civilization to get stitches, I insisted that I'd be okay.   I was playing with the big cousins (including Reggie), and didn't want to acknowledge my vulnerability.  The (unnecessary) scar I've had for so very many years is finally fading.  Had I headed Mama's advice to abandon our adventure and get the required stitches, I wouldn't have retained the daily reminder of Reggie's life, impact and heroic death. 

I don't remember when my accident occurred, but vividly recall when we received the tragic news that my  much older cousin who I'd been playing with that day was killed in Viet Nam.  Reggie was only the second young person I knew who met an untimely death.  Sometimes scars connect us to events that wouldn't otherwise be vivid; remind us to cherish simple pleasures; and allow us to gratefully acknowledge all who have helped us become the person we were intended to be.

Scars and stripes make the stars bright each night.

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