On October 28th 1981 I was 2 years old. I was In a fire that day. From what I have been told by my parents, I got out of my crib in the middle of the night. My father had left the electric heater on that night and when I got out of my crib I somehow knocked the heater over, starting a fire. I have no memory of the fire but again from what I have been told my parents my brother woke up and got me out of the fire and wrapped me in a blanket then wrapped himself in one. My mother and father had woken up also. My mother broke a window to get us out of the house. I was not breathing once we were outside the house. The fire department and ambulance was called and a truck driver had stopped and helped my mother perform CPR on me and had me breathing again. I was then Life Flight to Children’s Hospital. My arms, legs and chest had second and third degree burns. They did skin graphs from my legs onto my arms and chest. I was in Children’s Hospital for five weeks and once out I had to wear a full ace bandage body suit for nine months having to have it resized every three months.
School was the hardest part of having burns. I am still amazed at how cruel children can sometimes be to each other. I always felt like an outcast, it was very hard for me to make friends. The kids in the many schools I went to as a child would call me names like burnt toast, Freddy cougars wife, torch and my brother liked calling me crispy critter. I took those names to heart and was always extremely hurt by those names. I became very self conscious and had very low self esteem thru elementary school into middle school. Then my parents took me to Shiners clinic, where we discussed doing surgery to remove my burns. We also tried some special make up on my arms to try and help hide my burns. While I was at the Shiners clinic I saw a lot of kids who had been burnt badly also. I was very surprised, I had always thought I was alone and that nobody knew how I felt. The thing that struck me the most was that I was in a way luckier then some of the other children there. I,to this day, at the age of 34, can not remember anything from the fire but I realized that day at Shiners that most of those kids could still remember what happened to them and it made me very sad. Visiting the Shiners Clinic and seeing all the other kids who were like me changed how I felt about my burns. I became less self conscious about them. I accepted the fact that I had scars that would never go away and were a part of my story in life.
Once I was in High school the name calling by my peers had stopped. I still had low self esteem but it had little to nothing to do with my burns. I had stopped trying to hide my burns with my clothes and started to be more comfortable about them. I would wear tank tops and my bathing suit without a t-shirt to cover my self. In a way I didn’t notice them as much and neither did my peers. Some people would still stare when I went out in public and yes sometime it would bother me but I gradually got over even that. It was nice when a curious person would actually ask me about my burns. I appreciated it when people would ask it was so much better then staring and pointing. I would always thank them for asking. Now as an adult I hardly notice my burns and most of the people I know or encounter in life do not notice either.
My burns are a part of me, they do not define me but they are mine forever and they can be a pretty good conversational topic and sometimes even educational.
Written By: Alicia A. Ziglar
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
New Living Translation (NLT)
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Oh Lord, I am thankful of true life stories that we can see reflections of ourselves. Bless Alicia as she shares her story of not being destroyed by life but instead treasures the reminder of how her life was saved.Thank You for letting her see herself through Your eyes. Lord I lift the readers of this, that they see that no matter what life has scarred them with, Lord, that they have life with You.Thank You, Father, for walking with us through the fires. Keep our vision on the good that You bring out our troubles making us stronger and giving us a TESTimony, giving us faith in the outcomes of all trials. Help us Lord to be... and to see... the beautiful reflection of You. In Jesus Name, Amen