In first grade, I spent several weeks in a wheelchair.
But you would never know that, as not a single picture exists of me sitting in that chair. In fact, you’d be pressed to even find a picture of me in the cast I had at that time. Yet I still have the cast itself (hidden in a closet), the only real proof.
There were so many pics of my childhood. Yet there were these little pockets of time completely erased by purposeful avoidance. I asked my mom why and she said she just didn’t want to remember that time. But it happened.
Just like there are no pictures of me with a swollen face after having my wisdom teeth taken out. Or from after my surgery a few years ago; no images of me in a hospital bed hooked up to wires. No pictures of when I accidentally sliced my hand open with a swiss army knife, or from when I rear ended someone in high school.
Sure, due to my sick and twisted mind there do exist now pictures of my broken toes and bruised feet and swollen eyes and bad haircuts (fragments free of context), but for the most part we edit the stories of our lives by omission. We don’t think to pick up our cameras and snap as we and those we love are in pain, and frankly we often do not want to.
But it’s often these things we do not capture, those cracks between the concrete memories we can turn back to, that are the grit in building our character. Try as we can to conceal them, we can’t erase the fact they did happen. At least not yet anyway.