I drove home for a family lunch yesterday; and by home, I mean of course to the place where I grew up. It took 3 hours, but the iPod on shuffle kept me sane; as did the idle chatter of small son.
As I sat across from my eldest sister, a scar on her shoulder caught my eye. I knew of course that it was there, but it struck me that this was the first time I had actually seen it.
Scars are funny things; the physical manifestation of times of your life that will never be forgotten, simply because they act as a permanent reminder.
Childhood mishaps, such as my 'spectacular skateboarding spill' and the long since forgotten feel of grit in an angry wound, have now faded to thin white hatch lines on a suntanned knee. Other scars remain fresh, however much they fade.
In my family we do scars incredibly well. Not your 'run of the mill, this is where I put my hand on broken glass' scars; but the deeper, darker scars of personal battles against our genetic inheritance. My eldest sister claimed first bragging rights..... A cut-throat scar; a hermetically sealed room; and much to our amusement, a Geiger counter in the bathroom! More scars followed, each surgery adding to her rights.
As with all things familial, we went in order from there; my second sister and I succumbing to the same diagnosis and operation within two years of each other. We were now the true Amazonians of braggers rights.
My sister's experience guided my choices, allowing me to be fearless ; and to ultimately transform into her mirror image... hip to hip scars, my left to her right.
Through her experience,I knew what to expect and how to fight; she however was the brave pioneer with courage in spades.
When it was my turn to undertake what she had not; to watch bright red poison collapse my veins , to shave my head and have tubes pushed deep into my chest; I learnt how to be brave in my own right.
Now every morning when I look at my scars; secretly, and in a way only those with siblings will understand, I think to myself ' I am the queen of the bragging rights '