It’s funny to me that people often remark on the absence of a wedding ring on my left hand, but rarely do they notice the lump of scar tissue that bulges between mid-ring finger and the place where a knuckle would be (but in my case, is not).
Nor do they remark on the gnarly scar that extends from the outer edge of my left pinky to the space between my pointer and index fingers. A scar that would be constantly, awkwardly rubbed by a ring, if I could manage to fit one on my finger.
But maybe people are more likely to comment on the absence of something lovely rather than the presence of something so…severe.
I used to think of my left hand as hideous. At the time of the accident, I joked about feeling like the Bride of Frankenstein.
I was driving when the car turned over once before landing upside-down in a ditch. My right hand was on the gear shift, my left hand on the steering wheel. The windshield shattered but did not break, instead warping as one piece to come down like a dagger across my hand, trapping it on the steering wheel.
It was gory.
A plastic surgeon was needed to reconstruct my hand.
The damage was not just cosmetic; tendons were severed and my hand was rendered useless while I attended months of physical therapy.
I was just 21 at the time, a newlywed, a new mom, a full-time college student. For months, the trauma to my hand caused a ripple of trauma through even the most basic needs in my normal daily routine.
Those were hard days.
Last week, I had minor surgery on my wrist, and again find myself unable to depend wholly on my left hand.
It’s so – SO – minor in comparison to my previous disability. This time I have the use of my fingers, and my wrist will be back to normal function within a few weeks.
I am grateful for the relative nuisance this is compared to the magnitude of my injuries 17 years ago.
But I admit, memories of that difficult time have floated back to me like an echo this week, and I have to shake myself free of the sadness.
Because even when we overcome something as challenging as I did, sometimes a little sadness at the suffering remains.
I am grateful for the small reminder this week of how far I have come, and in a way, grateful for the new scar that becomes the newest addition to the history on my hand.