16 June 2011


We all have scars. Some we carry quite obviously, from an accident, an injury. Some are internal and not so apparent. Traces of them visible but not noticed without attention being called. Some blend in so well no one would ever know it was there.

Liam has scars.

He has a large scar running along the bottom of his left scapula. The wound from a surgery to correct a duct that didn't know to close at 23 weeks gestation in order for Liam to get enough oxygen (even his duct knew it was way too soon).

He also has small scars. Lots of tiny pin pricks all over his body. One from his PICC line in his left arm, his arterial line in his right, little white spots on his legs, hands, and feet from the IV's. Pricks on his heels when his art line went out. I can see every one. They aren't noticeable to anyone but me. 

He also has internal scars. Ones I can't see, but  I know are there. Scars with a lasting affect of trouble. He has a large portion of his cerebellum missing. He has a thin corpus collosum. He has had laser beams scar his retinas in order to prevent losing them due to his prematurity. He has scars of trouble from sensory issues involving his mouth and his tummy.

I have a lot of scars as well. Most of them no one can see. Wounds grevious yet assuaged with the passage of time.  Only obvious to me.

But, one scar I wished was on the outside.

One scar I wanted to never fade..

I wanted a permanent marker for this scar. An identifier.

But in fear of the passage of time allowing my wounds to fade from my existence, I wanted to make a mark that would never fade, that would always remind me. I wanted a tangible one. One I could touch and be transported. An indellible reminder. One that would never disappear.

   God said to Zion: "Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." Isiah 49:16 

I wanted my missing children to be engraved upon my hands as well. And so I thought about what I would have that scar illustrate if I did. What I would have it represent to me. What it would mean to be there and to see everyday. But I didn't just want my missing children to be honored, I wanted to signify all of them and each ones importance to me.

So, I decided for it to simply say:

"Mom of six"
  in Irish Gaelic.

They have now in their own way been engraved upon my wrist.  An outward symbol of an internal scar, one that can never be forgotten.

While being a Christian and receiving a tattoo can be questioned by some and while impressions, stigma's and misrepresentations can occur because of having one, it illustrates for me the reality of engraving my children upon my wrists as the Lord did with Zion. While they are not here with me physically, they are here with me in the Lord's promise that they are not forgotten.

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