Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Scar

I pulled the quilt sprayed in delicate pink flowers up to Eleanor's chin. Wiggling under the covers, she turned to face me. Her dimple flashed, her smile infected me and I leaned in to kiss her cheek.

Pulling back I brushed my fingertips to the scar above her left eyebrow. "Do you remember getting this?"

She nodded. "I was spinning and spinning and went head first into a corner of a desk." She paused, and our eyes met. "We were with Grandpa Jack, at his new home."

I sucked in air through my teeth and nodded, shocked that she still remembered. She would have just turned three a few months before when she got the scar. I can remember every detail like it was yesterday. How Eleanor was showing off for Grandpa, and how Annabelle toddled over to the gate that closed us into the living room of the new care home we moved Dad into. I remember how Annabelle pinched her fingers in the gate, and screamed so loud Eleanor's head snapped over, and she tried to stop her spin, but instead she flew into the corner of a large, ornate desk pushed up against the side of the room. A desk that had been completely off my radar of possible dangers. I remember how Grandpa Jack scooped up Annabelle and shushed her, while I scooped up Eleanor, her head buried into my shoulder, both girls screaming. I remember Eleanor pulling her head back from my shoulder and the blood that poured down her face, and soaked into my sweater. I can still feel how my heart stopped beating, and I lost all the air from my lungs, but my Dad was there - shushing Annabelle, holding her close. Helping me so I didn't fall apart completely.

I remember the nurses coming in, and leading me to a bathroom. "I'll stay here with Annabelle," Dad assured. I nodded and ran off following the nurse. We found a bathroom, and the nurse calmed and cleaned the blood off of Eleanor, helped me bandage her head.

My hands shook as I attempted to help clean the blood. "Should I take her to the ER? Will she need stitches?"
The kind nurse smiled, "No, head wounds bleed a lot, but see," she lifted the tissue from the wound, "its not bleeding anymore. She'll be find. No need for stitches."

I nodded mutely, and held Eleanor close. The nurse held open the bathroom door, and I followed her out and back to the living room. I can still see plainly Annabelle sitting on dad's knee, he was singing her songs and bouncing her up and down. I can see how happy she was, no longer crying. I can see how happy they both were together.

I took in another deep breath, and focused on the present. Focused on my now five and a half year old girl, and the two year old scar shining white on her forehead back at me.

"You can look at my scar, and remember him, mom. Whenever you get sad, just look at my scar and he'll be there. You don't have to be sad. " She smiled so sweetly again, that dimple flashing. The tears threatened to pour down my cheeks, but I held them in check.

"Yes, sweetie, I will." I leaned down again and kissed her scar. "Whenever I see your scar, I will remember Grandpa Jack, and how much he loved us."

"Good! I like remembering that too. I'm glad I have my scar."

As I turned out the lights, I couldn't help but thank how grateful I truly was for that memory, for those moments, for the time we had together - even the blood, tears, screams, and the scar that would be there to always remind us about that deep love he had for us.