There Will Be Marks

Life makes only one promise to you. There will be marks. You will not get out of this unscathed. I have mine, be they physical or otherwise. Some will never go away no matter how hard I scrub, no matter how long they are pushed down by time.

There are the ones I welcome, the ones that have made me who I am. There are marks that built themselves into scars that let me heal in my own time. There are the ones you see and others I may never reveal, to you or to me.

The one true constant in life, the inescapable marks. They are the tie that binds. You to me. Me to you. We’ve all been marked up and scarred. No one gets out unscathed.

Motherhood has left its marks on me. Literal scars, stretch marks, indelible joy in every fold of my brain. Heartache. Worry. Ache.

One mark, one memory has forever stayed. Those long, anxious, sleepless nights desperately trying to rock my firstborn to sleep. Tom Petty whispering in our ears, kissing our souls with song. As long as I have breath, those moments will never leave me.

It was his Wildflowers album, played again and again and again. Us , both Tom and I, begging this tiny crying baby to please go to sleep. Always, every single night, thanks to Tom, eventually she did.

That baby grew up. Some marks did fade. New ones, deeper ones took their place over the twenty or so years between those days and today. Some great. Indelible joy in every fold of my brain. Marks that make the other ones well worth the pain.

For my 46th birthday, I requested another mark be made. A visual one that represented an emotional one. A mark in time. A little bit of joy from the folds of my brain.

I asked a friend who’s made a mark, a happy mark, to make one more. One for me and one for that baby who is not a baby anymore.

And she did make her mark on my baby and on me. She gave us both a piece of wearable art that ties us all forever up in a memory decades old.

Myself, my child, Emily, and Tom. We’re all here. We made this mark. We’re all drawn into it, every last line.

We all have our marks. Not one of us gets out unscathed. Some marks we’d rather not have. Some, though, are special, eternal. Some marks we get to decide how they’re made.

Infinite gratitude to Emily Page of Ratatat Tats for making such a lovely memory into a permanent mark of beauty for my daughter and I.