They are embellishments: signs of life. They're the reminder of another day, our journey, and reflect the gift of living. They are marks that cannot be erased. They are not battle scars, but the signs of truly living.
The Lasting Impact
All that remains is a small pink dot about the size of a pencil eraser. It subtly adorns the underside of my arm and gives little outward suggestion to the devastation it has witnessed and the battle it has helped to fight these past months. However, it isn't alone. It is accompanied by numerous identical marks that have faded over time but still remain to tell of their own past battles. Scars? No, they are merely beautiful embellishments left from my PICC lines that remind me of how lucky I am to breathe.
Even though my PICC line has finally been pulled, I have been free of IV antibiotics now for 2+ weeks, and the outward signs of my Cystic Fibrosis have dissipated, the effects of these past months can still be felt within. The outer scars will heal, leaving minimal evidence of this last brutal battle, but the scars within leave a resounding reminder of CF's ruthless progression, the physical and emotional pain, the loss of the life I so dearly loved, and the shear desperation I feel to squeeze life from every moment. But these embellishments within also remind me of how grateful I am just to breathe, and how beautiful life can be wherever the path may be leading. They are merely reminders both outwardly and inwardly of the impact CF has made on my life: some visible, some not.
Leaving Your Mark
What are the most beautiful embellishments? The most meaningful and impactful embellishments of my life cannot be seen just by looking at me, but their marks are only visible from deep within. These marks? Left by the generosity, kindness, and selflessness shown by the extraordinary people that fill my life. Those marks are deeply set and their impact is felt in every breath I take. I look back on the last several months and think of how greatly my life has changed, and I am filled with more love and gratitude than I ever thought possible. I am still plagued by the fresh scars of my reality: the reality that I was forced to truly face these past months and continue to face. But those scars are nothing compared to the embellishments that dwell deep within me that were imprinted by the people I love: giving me renewed life, direction, and the strength to withstand whatever my journey has in store.
The heartache brought on by CF is transformed into humble gratitude and an ever growing appreciation for life by the goodness and grace I have been gifted. I hope to be a mere reflection of every embellishment that flourishes within me: the selflessness and pure goodness I have been shown. The world is filled with such beautiful embellishments that impact each and every one of us, we just have to open ourselves to seeing and feeling them.
The signs of truly living are the embellishments in which inhabit each of us. They are not battle scars, but mere marks of beauty that tell our story: reflecting the events and people who have shaped our lives so. They may not be easily visible on the outside, but beneath the surface their impact runs the depths of our being.