ÖI trembled as I fingered the fine porcelain, feeling the dried glue where it filled in the cracks and crevices of the tiny face. ďYou see, sheís not broken anymore. She just has scars.Ē
Those words would remain etched in my memory for years to come, covered over by a blanket of shattered dreams and grown up things. Money, alcohol, and men lay atop a heap of dusty remnants of a broken childhood. The face of the doll lies amidst the ruin. Itís funny how one moment could bring it all back. One trapped memory, floating in time like a bubble gets caught in the storm of circumstance and change and bursts right in front of your face. You have no choice but to look at it, see it explode in slow motion and then instantly react. Hopefully the reaction is somewhat of a happy one. Iíd like to think that mine was bittersweet.
I had just completed my 12 steps. I was about to be congratulated for accomplishing the impossible- going nine months without a drop of booze. Some would say thatís quite an accomplishment for a child of barely 22 years. The bubble burst when my fatherís voice came out of hiding, splashing warm fuzzies over my bright red face. I was eight the first time I heard those words. When youíre a child itís funny how things are always black or white. Itís new or itís trash. Itís a castle or itís a junk heap. Itís a princess or itís a waif. I gave my waif to the junk heap without ever knowing of itís real potential.
As I stood holding my chip, my reward for abstaining from a substance that allowed me to forget the past, the past came flooding back. ďYou see, sheís not broken any more. She just has scars.Ē
I thought about my father when I came home from the hospital with a cast covering my arm. Another duck-duck-goose victim, I broke my elbow. I remembered how my father scooped me up in his arms and held me, not inconvenienced in the slightest about the cast. Of course he didnít discard me. I was his baby. It didnít matter that I was broken. I was still lovable.
I remembered another time when mom busted my lip in a fit of rage over a math problem. Dad didnít turn away from me either when I came to him for hugs. I was broken but I still needed love. Then I thought about the chip I held in my hand. My Father knew I had been through an ugly battle and I wore my scars with humble pride.
I was humble because I knew my Father wouldnít turn away from me in disgust when I came home with that shiny piece of tin. He wouldnít gripe because I had too many lines on my face or send me back to the dregs of the long lost 12 step casualties because I wasnít new or beautiful enough anymore. I knew he would accept me as I was because of the long hours I spent gluing myself back together again. He would be proud of me because of the pain I went through to get my scars. I was proud because I had a Father who loved me enough not to see me as his little waif, banished to the farthest corners of junk heap land forever. I was proud because I had beautiful, deep scars and a Father who loved me because of those scars.
copywrite 2005 Sherry Castelluccio
If you wish to contact me regarding this article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org