Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stars and Stripes

Today, I handed my mother a glass of water. She noticed a new scar on my hand. Being the mama that she is, she immediately asked me what in the world happened to my hand. At first, I didn't know what she was talking about. But then, I suddenly remembered that I burned my hand while I was ironing my nephew's jeans a few days ago.

My mother was sickened by the idea that I burned myself. She asked me to stop ironing and just let her do it.

I don't know why this woman acts like I burn myself every day. The truth is that I probably have a little accident every few months. And extreme temperatures of heat probably accounts for 1 out of 25 of the accidents. I probably burn myself with the iron, curling iron, or the stove once a year.

Most of the time, my accidents are because I bump my leg on clothes baskets that are left by my family members in the hallways of my house or right in the doorway of our laundry room. Or I slip down the stairs because my impatient behind is running down the carpeted stairs barefeet. (That's happened twice since we've been living in this house. My sighted sisters have also fallen down the stairs a couple of times.) Oh, I also bump my legs on the dishwasher door. If my mother is in there loading the dishwasher, and for whatever reason, she walks away, she often leaves the dishwasher door down. Well, because I'm a touch impatient, I walk like I got somewhere to go. Well, when I'm sprinting to the kitchen to get whatever, I often tear my legs up on the dishwasher door.

Should I be more careful? You darn right I should.

Yes, I have accidents because I'm blind. But the accidents are mostly because I need to be more careful. And I hate to point this out... But my mother and my sisters could also make life better for me. They need to remember that I'm blind too. For instance, don't leave the clothes basket in the hallway.

The truth is that I don't think that my mother would be so bothered by my scars if I wasn't somewhat light skinned. I bruise so easily. And the bruises and scars are usually so visible.

But I don't mind the scarring and bruising. I feel like those scars and bruises are my stars and stripes. This life I live is tough. I feel like those stars and stripes prove that I'm moving around, taking care of business. If I wasn't doing anything, I probably could keep my skin honey, brown sugar clean. But that's no fun. A few bumps and knots never killed anyone. It only makes you tougher for the next bump. Or maybe it just makes you be more careful next time.

That's it. I should just be more careful. Taking my mother's advice and just letting her do everything for me is not the way. I rather have stars and stripes all over my body than to be a paralyzed, unexposed, dependent crybaby.

I wouldn't be where I am today, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm not scared of getting hurt. Sometimes pain is a part of the process.

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