‘It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.’ ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Sweetness, happiness, peace. I wish I could gather them up by the armful, or plunge deep down into the depths of them and live in the sweetness. That’s why I write here. To remember the best of life because the worst of life makes an imprint on the soul that the loveliest things never can do.
We are on winter break, and for a week we are staying with my mother in law. And while I want to be sensitive to her privacy, I want to write about it too. She is showing me how to live through the scars that life carries on it’s back. I am watching her learn to walk hand in hand with pain, and navigate a new reality without her husband by her side. I see her cry and fall down and shrug and get back up again. I heard her laughing with my kids the other day, and it made me want weep because even in the early widow days, her laughter rises up and embraces the rest of us. It may have come at the expense of some poor guy getting hit in the crotch on America’s Funniest Home Videos, but at this point, I think any source of laughter is a good one. The guy who got hit in the crotch may beg to differ.
My life has been filled with so much joy and light, so much wonderful, that it is hard to believe that those are the things that slip through my fingers like sand. The darkest days, and there are a few, are the ones that leave the deepest mark, carry the longest memory, and mold me into the shape of something new. And the new shape is always more beautiful than the last. It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Maybe not HaHa, hit in the crotch video funny, but puzzlingly funny. Our pain creates our scars, and our scars become our greatest beauty.
I’d still take the sweetness of life over the scars any day, but I’d like to learn to embrace them both.