A little over a week ago, Jordan had his post-surgery follow-up with the surgeon who spent seven hours getting to know an unconscious Jordan as he lay with his chest open on an operating table. He delicately removed the mass that had entangled itself in Jordan’s chest for 17 ½ years. After wiring his sternum back together and closing Jordan’s chest with a clean row of stitches, the surgeon let us know he had the feeling all would be well. And it is. Jordan recovered very quickly and has been given the go-ahead to resume normal activity. He’s been doing 1000 push-ups a day and is breathing easier, his attitude as carefree and positive as ever. If not for the stainless steel wires in his chest and the scar that marks the experience, you’d never know he’d been through such a frightening ordeal.
This morning I made the final drive to Children’s Hospital. Jordan and I grabbed a couple drinks at Starbucks on the way (sorry, Bob and Frankie…) and talked on the way there about music and the goofiness of some words in the English language. We walked into the doors and headed up to the Infectious Disease department. The nurse did the usual height, weight, blood pressure check. All is normal and, in fact, he is two pounds away from his pre-surgery weight! The doctor then looked Jordan over and questioned him about his experience with the antibiotics to take care of his bacterial infection. It was a quick visit. We headed downstairs to the lab for one final blood draw. Two months of needle pokes and lab work finally came to an end.
When we left the hospital, we were both glad to be done with medication and doctor visits. A few days ago, Jordan posted a picture of his scar on Facebook with the following words: “This surgery was probably the hardest thing I’ve gone through, but in a weird way I’m glad I went through it.”
Last night we talked about why he said those words. He wasn’t exactly sure, it was just a feeling he had. I told him it might be because no matter what happens in his life from this point on, he knows he can handle it. He agreed. It puts life in perspective. He has been through a lot in the last six months. So has his brother. So have I. Unlike Brian and me, however, Jordan has something tangible and vivid to remind himself that he is resilient, that he can face adversity and tragedy and overcome it.
In response to Jordan’s Facebook post, I shared the following quote: “There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.” (Harry Crews) I am happy for the scar that remains and what it will mean to Jordan, to Brian, and to me. It’s beautiful.
Scars = Joy