This I Believe

Anna - Fredericksburg, Virginia
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Just Behind Our Eyes

Everyone has scars; be they emotional, physical, and/or mental. Each person surrounding us has some sort of wound that they live with. These events and traumas become easier to look at as time passes, but the lessons and effects of those events stay with us forever. I believe that these wounds may heal but may never fade.

Thanksgiving, 1994, I was eating dinner out with my family. I was wearing my favorite blue polka dotted dress and was so excited to be in a restaurant on Thanksgiving. This would be a day I would remember forever but was oblivious to it at the time. My grandfather got up from the table to go pay the bill, so I got up from the table and raced after him; unfortunately I was right at eye level with the counter, and busted my head right up against it; there is still a scar on my forehead. It wasn’t necessarily a lesson I learned, but it is something I will never forget.

The physical scars we have are only a reflection of the inner person we are; the psychological and emotional show the true core of our being. Our past affects our future in ways we could never imagine possible. When I was ten years old I watched my parent’s marriage fall apart. I watched my mother pull my father out of the car of another woman. I watched him walk away from the home we bought as a family. The image I had of my family, my father especially, changed forever; changed in a way that was irreversible. Those events led to heaps of new changes that will affect me forever, and some images can not be erased from memory.

I feel that while bad things do happen to everyone, we learn great lessons from all of them. Though we may not do it on purpose, we look for the hope in a bad situation, and use the past to better our future. When I was eleven my grandmother, who I was very close to, died of cancer. I’d never had anyone close to me die before and I did not know how to deal with it. I cried, I questioned, and I dealt with an idea that I was not ready to grasp in my young years. I learned death from death.

I sit here rubbing my forehead, and remember that Thanksgiving day. It reminds me to learn from my past. The wounds on our hearts and minds will never disappear. They will leave scars and memories that we can not escape, scars and memories that will dance just behind our eyes, staying in the shadows; we see and feel them forever.