Share the Story of Your Scars
Updated: May 4, 2021
The Tales of the Table
The old, worn coffee table sits, appropriately enough, in my coffee room, a product of the past that makes an understated statement in the present. It was constructed in 1962 in the colonial style that was popular when my mom and dad bought it from the local furniture store. A faded ink stamp underneath confirms its birthdate.
Stationed in front of the family TV, it was witness to historic moments like the Kennedy assassination and the moon landing. The table traveled with us when my dad was deployed, moving from Texas, to Virginia, to Germany, and Turkey before finally settling in Pennsylvania. Replaced long ago, it lived silently in storage in the basement of my childhood home until I brought it to my current home with plans of sanding down its surface and refinishing it. My thought was to paint contrasting, muted stripes along the top of it, a splash of colors for a facelift.
But as I picked up the sandpaper I paused.
I saw that the table is home to coffee cup rings and far too many scratches to count, most of them on the surface, but with some scars that are much deeper. As I reflected on them, I began to understand that these imperfections are actually reminders of stories that are etched in my past.
The blemishes are beautiful.
My mom tells me I would sit on the floor next to the table for hours and drag my Matchbox cars over it, making it a wooden highway for my Hot Wheels.
You can also see lower case letters “d-o-u-p” gouged into the drop leaf on the right side of the table.
Apparently, a young Doug hadn’t figured out that the “g” was supposed to face the other way.
And while I was making my mark on the table, the table was leaving its mark on me, too. The palm of my left hand still bears the scar that I received as a five year old when my sister raised the same drop leaf unexpectedly, pinching my hand in it.
Looking at that table, I began to realize that some things are supposed to stick with us, like the scars on the table and the one on my hand.
But that’s the beauty of imperfection. Despite what you may see on the surface, we are still sturdy and we are still standing. Our scars are symbols of the strength that makes us who we are today.
So, embrace the beauty of your imperfections…you’ve earned them.
And don’t be afraid to share the stories of your scars.