Skinned Knees and Broken Hearts

19 Oct

If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain. – Dolly Parton

It seems like our injuries get more painful and harder to manage with age.  From a skinned knee to a broken heart, how does a girl cope with all that hurt? Practice certainly doesn’t make perfect; in fact, when it comes to love lost, it may make things that much trickier.  If only there were a big enough band-aid, preferably Hello Kitty-themed and accompanied by kisses.

I’ve had a million skinned knees and one broken heart in my life – and I’ve got the scars to prove it. The scar on my left knee is a forever reminder of my childhood pet, a yellow Labrador retriever named Travis. An adamant fetcher, he ran right through me, throwing me up in the air before I tumbled down my backyard’s slope. He was in dogged pursuit of a recently-thrown tennis ball, and I was an easily surmountable obstacle.

Now, the wounds on my right knee are solely the fault of my brother; I accept no responsibility. Three years younger and over a foot taller than me, he has tested my limits since we were little kids.  He once dared me to roller blade down the boat ramp next my house.  As should be expected, I lost my balance by the end of that steep hill, skidded through the gravel and crashed right into the water. As tears streamed down my face, my patient father dug the gravel out of my knee, but the remaining marks have proven more difficult to erase.

The scars of a broken heart are a little bit harder to assess.  In the beginning, I remember waking up every morning and hoping that I loved him a little less by the end of the day, that I would feel a little less broken when fell asleep that night. Eventually, I picked up all the pieces, but then I spent months struggling with how to put them back together.  For a long time, I thought that I would never be unbroken again. Although I’ll never forget those feelings of heartache – after all, they affected my life for quite some time and changed who I am – I’m whole again, healed and happy. Even in love.

Healing, from whatever ailment, requires baby steps and deep breaths. We learn from our mistakes and never forget because of our scars. It’s easier to let fear hold us back, but we must focus on moving forward – on lacing up those roller blades again or opening ourselves up to a new relationship. Because of those skinned knees and broken hearts, the successful attempts down that hill and the falling in love feel fulfilling, worthwhile, that much better than the previous pain.

me and travis, the first man to sweep me off my feet

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