“Time heals all wounds,” they say, which I suppose is mostly true, although my uncle lost part of his pinky finger in a wood-splitting accident and, while the wound healed, his pinky did not miraculously grow back. Then there’s my friend whose dad lost his hand in a tragic farming accident – yes, the wound healed after quite a lot of time, but now he lives life with a hook. I’m guessing we all know people like this, or perhaps are people like this, who have had a serious physical injuries, and more often than not those serious injuries heal, but that is not to say they have left us unchanged.
Which is perhaps why we feel there is something inherently missing in the phrase “Time heals all wounds.” There’s something about those words that feels inaccurate, or at best a bit callous. This is because, once we reach a certain age, we learn that the healing of the physical wound is not the same thing as being returned to one’s original state of being. “Time heals all wounds” does not equal “happily ever after.”
But maybe remaining unchanged is not the measuring stick of life, because I see the way my children laugh and laugh and laugh when my uncle holds his shortened pinky up tight against his nostril and it looks like his finger is reaching up into his skull. And I heard story recently about how my friend’s father, the one with the hook, reached into his wallet with that very same hook, pinched out a hundred dollar bill with its grasping mechanism, and paid for the entire family behind him in the line at the buffet.
Maybe “Time heals all wounds” is true. I don’t know. Or maybe we should be less concerned about the wound and more concerned about the kinds of people that this mixture of “time” and “wound” is transforming us into.
What kind of a person are your wounds changing you into?
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