I remember the 5-days prior, so vividly. My youngest son and I were on our way to church. We were taking pictures just because we were dressed up nicely, feeling and looking good. This was a joyous time, we were going to praise the Lord on this Sabbath day.
This is also the day that I remembered looking at the picture and cringing . All I could think of was the fat on my arms that resembled other body parts as it appeared viciously in that red sleeveless dress. This day was about 10-months post my last deployment in the US Army. A deployment by any Soldiers standard was easy breezy. Not a care in the world, not a threat and not a reason that inclined us to even consider it to be a deployment. The country was pretty much at peace and we were there to sorta keep things from getting out of hand. It was the place that “real deploying” Soldiers used as a hub to prepare, depart and go on to the bigger threatening areas. Naw this wasn’t a deployment, it was just a “duty assignment away from my family”. That’s it.
Once I did return home after this “duty assignment away from my family”, I went on a juice diet and ran every half-marathon, 10K, and marathon within a 100-mile radius. I did all this because while on the deployment I’d gained weight. The heat was not good to me or my run routine. Once I returned home I started dieting, I was probably in the best shape of my life, yet, I still found areas of my body to nick pick. My underarm in this red dress was one of them.
What I didn’t realize, was that I would soon learn to ignore those small things. Those things that no-one probably even noticed. Those things that compared to other things, were MINIMAL to life.
Five days later, my life would be forever changed and I have the scar to prove it. It was me, a riding go-kart and a scarf around my neck to protect me from the chill winds of the day. It was less than a week before Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it was Sheka vs ‘The Scarf”. Round 1. The scarf won. “The Scarf” nearly killed me instantly. Right as I was laughing, having fun not realizing within seconds my neck could’ve popped, been severed or my larynx crushed. Or possibly decapitated. That’s all I will say about this.
Looking back on this, I felt as though God kept me around for many reasons. (some of those reasons will be shared at a later date). However, compared to the lifelong scar I now have just inches from that ‘fat on my arms’ that just less than a week prior, I thought was the worse thing ever. Regardless of my flaws, I learned that life is to be VALUED! Life is not to be taken for GRANTED. Literally, within seconds as I was racing others in a go-kart, that morning could’ve very well been the last time my children would see me alive.
Did I kiss them that morning? Did I tell them I love them? Did I fuss at them for neglecting a chore on their way to school that morning? Did I tell them how proud I was of them? Did I remind them how grateful I am to be their mother?
All these things were things I thought of after the fact. These things were things I thought of as I listened to the doctor ask me “do you know how lucky you are?” “Do you understand what has happened?”
At that time I didn’t know. I didn’t fully understand the fact that I was spared. They say that if you want to understand and appreciate life better, then come in contact with death.
I AM GRATEFUL. I know that I was taught a valuable lesson. Each time I look at this scar around my neck I am forever reminded. I am forever reminded that I have a purpose. I am forever reminded that I am blessed. I appreciate every day, every hour and every second that I have been given.
That fat on my arm is probably still there. I’m not sure. I don’t see it simply because maybe the scar overshadows it or maybe because it’s not important. Life is more than that.
Life should be more appreciated than a simple area of fat. My life is more then this scar.
It’s a definite reminder. I get asked all kind of questions or hypotheticals of how it came to be. I’ve even been asked did I try to “hang myself”?
I simply tell people…….”it’s a reminder that I am blessed”. I won!
#soldiers #military #soldiersstruggles #relevance #thoughts #veterans