Learning for Today: The Beauty of Scars

Haya - Willowbrook, Illinois
Entered on April 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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Scars. Most people think of them in a negative way, as a reminder of pain and suffering from the past. I believe in the exact opposite. I believe that scars can be something beautiful, something to remember and to learn from. They can exist in the form of physical pain as well as emotional pain. Above all, they serve as a reminder of the past.

Last summer, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and hearing the phone ring; it was her calling to tell my mom how the appointment went. It was then that we found out she had a tumor. I remember seeing the tears in my mom’s eyes. I remember sitting there not knowing what to say or do. This woman, who had been with me since the day I was born, whose children weren’t even in high school, was burdened with such a horrible thing. Yet, she lived through it with a positive attitude.

I believe that the struggles of the past are the most important reminders of today. I think about my aunt, over a year later, and I see the courage in her face. The pain she went through during her chemotherapy was physical, but even more so, she suffered from the inside. She lived through some of the hardest months of her entire life, and I see that as the greatest accomplishment. “I can never forget,” she told me one day, “what I’ve been through is so terrible, but I’ve learned so much.” It was then that I realized that despite all the pain my aunt had endured, she took the experience as an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person. She fought through it and came out a stronger person. She learned from her scars, the scars that will forever be with her, the scars that she does not wish to let go of. This, I believe to be a beautiful thing.

To have gone through so much and yet still be a strong person is, in itself, so great. The scars that my aunt will live with for the rest of her life are not my own, but the sense of her courage and strength at such a trying time in her life will forever be a reminder for me. I believe in the courage my aunt showed at a time when her own family feared. I believe in learning from the past, in fighting to overcome obstacles in order to become a stronger person. I believe in the ability of scars to help us learn and grow, in their ability to foster courage like nothing else. I believe in the beauty of scars.