The birth of scar tissue

It is difficult to see at the time

When you are sitting in a hard hospital chair

Staff swishing all around

The overhead glare

Of artificial light

The smells of chemicals and the human body breaking down

While it’s still alive – just

And the incessant beep of the several machines

The oxygen wheeze





Following another medical emergency

Another small fire put out – there seems to be so many

But it’s all calm now

And your own breathing matches their rhythm

In out

Tightening in your chest

In response

To their belaboured breathing

As you unconsciously try to breathe for them

Make it easier

But you can’t

Taking that old wooden hand covered in tissue

That is torn and bruised

Like a delicate fruit

That’s been handled too roughly and now looks a bit rotten

Knowing you are of no use

But to be there

Answer questions

Fill in forms

For the adult that once filled in so many of yours

And for who

You have become their carer

Their guardian

Their first line of defence

Against white jackets and people with intentions

That aren’t always clear

So you have to be near

Just in case

And it all takes its toll and it’s lonely and scary and hard

And you’ll want to run away at least once

Be a normal person living in the outside normal world

Eating your lunch watching all those normal people

Like they’re as interesting as aliens

Because that’s how they look now that your on another planet

Only eating at all because you have missed quite a few meals

But the food tastes like chemical

And comes in plastic

And your throat closes over

So you throw it in the bin

Go back in

Take up that precious hand

And begin again

To lay down scar tissue

Right now

There are a hundred thousand million tiny fractures that are splintering through your being

As you sit by those you love

Assisted by machines

To remain in the world of the living

And at the time

You don’t know that one day you’ll have to heal those cracks

All of them

One by one

Because right now your trying to remain strong

Even though that’s what is forming them

Those cracks and scars

A network of wounds spreading outwards from the heart

But don’t worry you’ll figure all that out

Somewhere down the track

Right now you just have to be strong

Welding bits on

As you suddenly find you need them

To help the dying as they live on

and on

Interminably terminal

and it feels like forever that your stuck in this twighlight zone

Of old people and old people homes

That nobody sees as they walk the streets

Just the ones that come to visit

The front staff greets by name

Like an old friend

And you are for a few years incredibly close to that front counter lady

With her smile that sees yours come in

And smiles as you leave yours behind

So she hands you hers

Like a tissue

And it’s such a generous thing that tissue box of smiles

Because it hurts dreadfully

As you forge new parts get stronger grow weaker crack up in places you never knew existed and cry tears late at night

That for the first time in your life

Feel like they are really churning out for

something worth crying about

The laying down of scar tissue it’s really something

Something real

It smells like shit and urine and sounds like bedlam on the way through

But her room at 2pm

With the sun shining in

Was warm and yellow and she lay in that bed

Like a saint who didn’t know who I was anymore

But I kneeled by her side anyway

She was my church

And the way she broke my heart over and over

Sometimes I wondered if I would ever recover from the way I loved her

Laying down so much scar tissue – I’m still finding bits falling off me in the shower

This is in response to a question from another blogger (see Floating World – I’ll try and remember how to reblog their post in a minute here. Asking about how I processed grief.

I found my reply was long (hmm not like me😏) so I was going to do a post about it but this came out instead – so I guess we’re going to start at the beginning.

And this story of mine is mine but it’s no different to millions of people who visit hospital beds and old age homes and carry out the painful process of laying themselves across hot irons every day for the ones they love who are in pain or are dying.

And there a many thousands carrying out other difficult things. So many of us – doing or have done and will no doubt do again

difficult things.

To those people my heart runs out to meet on this page. And hands you a smile. I have many now. Have one of mine.

It’s Friday here, looks like another clear as crystal spring day – the sun isn’t up yet but I can smell it.

Much love, much, much love .

17 thoughts on “The birth of scar tissue

  1. Beautifully evocative , I breathed and stopped to catch my breath several times as I read. You carried me right into that room. Kate, sending you smiles and hugs for that wonderful heart of yours . Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh man. Hugs go to you on this one, love. The in and out really caught me, and it was like reading your response in tempo to the breathing. It’s not easy, caring for someone you know isn’t long for this world. Just over a year and a half ago, my mother had a significant health scare and moved in with my family. She’s still going and doing better, in some cases, but it’s not easy seeing the struggle. And, not the same, but my beloved dog, she’s around 16 years old. Almost blind, practically deaf, suffers from arthritis, and has only a few teeth left in her mouth. She’s not long for my world and I know it. I’m just trying to make the last part of her life as living and caring and happy as possible before she finally tells us she’s ready to go, or she goes on her own. When I watch her sleep, sometimes it’s like a breathing machine. In and out, hoping she’ll keep going just a little longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks Sarah – it was a few years ago now – I’ve never been able to write it like that and sort of combine the two – it was my Dad in the first half – he had so many health complications and then my Mum also had Alzheimer’s – they passed within a few months of each other – he had no heart at all after she left. Man – that must be hard with your dog. I’m a dog person and their lives bracket big chunks of ours – when they’re gone you seem to grieve the time that has passed as well as the good friend now gone. It’s hard.


      • I’m sorry to hear about your parents. That’s an awesome lot to handle in such a short period of time. I lost my father rather abruptly, but it was more of a relief to me, given my history with him. Watching my mother’s health decline hasn’t been easy, and it’s no doubt shortened her life significantly, I am still going what I can to make that time better for her. Just like what I’m doing with my dog. She’s not gone yet, but I’m still grieving the fact that the time is coming to an end and the time we have had her is far too short for my liking. Though 14 years with her wasn’t a short amount of time for a dog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Thanks Sarah a while ago for me now enabling me to write with more clarity. Something we all go through eventually I guess and that’s why I share. Sorry to hear about your Mum. It’s the decline that is difficult to accept.


  3. I have not experienced the second part per se, but can definitely imagine it. Your words describe it all so perfectly.
    The first part was… breathtaking. I was brought right back into that hospital room. Rough times.
    It’s All Saints’ Day today and All Souls’ Day tomorrow. Your poem is very fitting for all that. It will definitely add to my thoughts.

    (I’m not sure if your site works the same as mine, but for me, when I edit the post, there is this chain icon that represents the hyperlink. I highlight the word I want to be the link, click on that chain button, insert the address of the post I want to link to and voila.)

    Liked by 1 person

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