This I Believe

Kellye - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 10, 2007

I don’t enjoy the feeling of a burnt hand, and the pain from the swelling and blisters that usually accompany it, but I have come to learn that touching a hot stove is not nearly as terrible as most people make it out to be. I will gladly accept that pool of lymph and other bodily fluids that form under the outer layers of my skin after getting burnt. After all, aside from the small number of cases in which a third or fourth degree burn results from touching a stove, or blisters become infected during the healing process, the damage is usually healed within a handful of days and little trace of the wound’s presence remains.

The night before last I called my mother to catch up with the happenings in both of our lives. In the middle of the conversation, she apologized for her divorce with my father that was final thirteen and a half years ago and admitted that she still feels guilty because my brother and I were unable to have a “normal” childhood. A few years ago, I believe that I finally overcame the pain that I once suffered and fully accepted the matter, and I suppose I assumed that everyone else had as well. I reassured my mother that what happened was for everyone’s benefit and certainly is not something that anyone should feel bad about. I do not know if she truly believed what I said, but I really hope that she did.

When I was nearly five years old, I was convinced that my hands had been firmly pressed against an extremely hot stove, and that gigantic blisters covered every millimeter of each of my little hands. I was sure that I had endured the biggest burn known to mankind, and that I was the first person to live through it. Exaggeration? Of course. My only alibi is the fact that I was just a kindergartener. If I ever feel like embarrassing myself, there are many ridiculous thoughts and experiences of mine that happened in the first few years after the divorce that I can easily relive.

All of the blisters have now disappeared from my hands, and it is extremely difficult to make out the one microscopic scar that will forever remain. Although I am glad that the pain from the blisters has disappeared, I would not trade them for anything in the world. My blisters taught me to open my eyes and enjoy everything that occurs around me, even if some things may not be the most pleasurable in the world, because there are many lessons to be learned in life. Sometimes it takes a blister or two to reinforce the idea, but they will all heal in the end.

My belief that everything happens for a reason allows me to say thanks, Mom and Dad, for allowing my little hands to touch the hot stove. It is the best gift that I could ever receive.