I have 2nd degree burn scars on my body, from my arms down to my left leg, I have a skin that is not in sync with the skin of the rest of my body. My mother tells me a story of how I got these scars. I was between age 1 and 2, I was learning to walk; now in the area where I was born it was common practice to make “imbawula” in order to keep warm. And as it is with any family raising children, children like playing with most things adults do. My siblings had created their own small version of the big imbawula and had placed it outside the stairway for it to get enough wind to blow the smoke away.
Since I was learning to walk, I crawled outside and I somehow hit imbawula and all the hot cold came rushing to my small body. I was severely burnt, to an extent that I carry the scars of this episode on my daily body. I am grateful that the extent of the burns didn’t disable me in any form and that in my upbringing I never felt ashamed or less fortunate about the scars on my body. I have from time to time being asked if I burned myself with an iron on my index figure , and so I get an opportunity to tell the story of how I got burned, I always end my story with this fact, but I don’t remember the pain.
This line has overtime become a very important life testimony for me, I know I was burnt, I can see the scars, they look scary. I now have 2 children of my own, each time one them was in the same stage I was when I got burned, I can only imagine what my mother must have gone through. The small size body, covered with bandages, the screams, the pains and medicines that had to be administered for me to get to the point of healing. I figured that the scars must have been more scarry on a small body, looking at how they have stretched with my skin overtime, I can only imagine how scary they were when I was smaller.
I have learned that in life you will go through pain and most importantly, life will leave you with scars, but it is important how you define those scars. You can look at the scars with sadness and the pain that you felt or you may look at the scars and see the spirit and courage of triumph.
My scars remind me of how strong and courageous my mom, how blessed I am that I never once felt inadequate, never once did I feel incomplete, not beautiful enough. My scars tell a story, that in life your body, your soul and spirit will be subjected to pain, just as much as the opportunity to cry was presented an opportunity to live is also presented. I own my scars, yes I don’t remember the pain. I am grateful that I see the beauty in these scars.