I was half-listening to the ten o’clock news in order to determine whether this weekend would be 25 degrees or 75 degrees, when I heard a female voice come on to announce the next story: How To Erase Mistakes of the Past.
This particular local newscast is known for its sensationalism, so I half expected some wacky story about new memory erasing technology.
But no. It was (another) story about plastic surgery treatments.
Apparently, scars are now called mistakes of the past.
These mistakes of the past, should you have a little spare time and a lot of spare change, can be miraculously lasered off of your body so you’re, “good as new.”
Hmm, does this appeal to people, I wondered.
I’m no Heidi Klum. I never have been. I have been slimmer. Less scarred. Less wrinkled. Less Gray.
But I’m not so sure I’m ready to trade all that in.
And I certainly don’t think of my scars as “mistakes of the past.”
I look at these two tiny scars on either side of my abdomen where a less invasive procedure found something bigger. Then there’s the bigger scar from the doctor cutting a tumor out of my uterus (not to mention those internal scars I can’t see). Then my absolute favorite scar runs even longer and allowed the doctors to pull three babies out of my belly.
I have burn scars on my hands from cooking with my mother and my children. I have a chipped tooth from one too many aggressive catapulting children coming toward me with open arms (and head). I have a ripped earlobe from a baby pulling out an earring. I have a permanent bump on my toe from wearing high heels to a great job for 15 years.
I could keep going. Varicose veins I inherited from my grandmothers, cellulite on my thighs from birthday cupcakes, and wrinkles in my forehead from big smiles and deep worries.
These aren’t mistakes. These are life. These are representations of some of my most profound memories. I don’t want to erase them.
And the truth of the matter is, some of those “mistakes of the past” that aren’t reflected on my skin but in my soul, I don’t want to erase them either. They made me who I am. Brought me to where I am. Taught me whose I am. I know empathy instead of judgment because of those mistakes. I know forgiveness instead of bitterness because of those mistakes. I know love despite the loss because of those mistakes.
So I will politely decline any technology that seeks to erase reminders of the life I have lead and instead offer a prayer of thanks and a box of Band-Aids for the life I still have left to live.