In a Flash
Eleven years ago, I was in a car accident while visiting family in Zimbabwe. The back tire burst, sending the vehicle into an uncontrollable meander across the median. Slamming into the ridge beside the road, the vehicle overturned, smashing in the roof and windows before coming to a rest on its side. I was almost 4 months pregnant with my second child.
There were 10 people in the minivan, including my then 8-month-old daughter Janelle. Because this type of vehicle we were in is generally designed for public transport, the only seat belts installed were for the driver and the front passenger.
Upon impact, bodies went flying everywhere. I remember screaming and calling out for my daughter. A family member was holding Janelle at the time of the accident. As soon as the minivan came to a stop, I heard Janelle crying, but I couldn’t see her. Within seconds of the crash, I heard the sound of people running towards us yelling, “Are they alive? Get them out! Get them out, now!” I thought the van was on fire. I was still calling Janelle’s name, and then finally I heard a voice above all the commotion, “I’ve got her. I’ve got Janelle. She’s Ok.”
One by one, the good Samaritans pulled us out of the wreckage. My back and my ankle ached, and I remember seeing blood and glass scattered everywhere. That’s when I saw the blood running down my leg. I didn’t know where I was bleeding from. Then I saw it, a nasty gash on the outside of my knee. It was a deep and ugly cut, and the sight of open flesh intensified the pain.
A Different Perspective
Now, many years after the healing is complete, I, too, am just as strange as that doctor because I can examine my scar and say, “Beautiful! This is a beautiful scar.” When I look at my scar, I choose to see the beauty of it. What some view as an ugly woven cluster of scar tissue is, to me, the most beautiful part of my body because my scar is a lovely reminder of the day I could have died, lost my daughter, my unborn baby, or another family member, but I didn’t. My scar is even more beautiful because it’s a wound that doesn’t hurt anymore.
Vimbai E. is a writer, journalist, ghostwriter and the founder of The Weight She Carries. With hundreds of articles publishing online, in print and for broadcast, her love of language and storytelling shines through every piece of writing that bears her name.