Some say that I’m broken

I broke my mother’s favorite vase when I was 10 years old. I remember the moment it fell to the floor. It was as if everything was happening in slow motion. I tried desperately to catch it, but my hands just weren’t quick enough.

There it lay on the floor in four broken pieces. My heart sank. All I could think about was my mom discovering the vase and scolding me for playing in her room. I knew I shouldn’t have been in there, but I wanted to try on some of her jewelry and thought I could sneak in and play dress-up without her knowing. She was surely going to know now.

As I looked at the pieces, I remembered a time when my mom used superglue to fix the arm on a figurine, so I decided I would do the same thing to fix my mistake. I did a pretty good job at it too. There were a few drips of glue on the outside of the vase, but mostly, you couldn’t tell it had even been broken.

I carefully positioned the vase back where it always sat and prayed she wouldn’t find out. Later that day, guilt got the best of me. I couldn’t bear the thought of trying to hide something I had done wrong any longer. It was eating at me with every minute that passed. I knew what I needed to do, so I went into the room where my mom was sewing and confessed the whole thing. I was punished, but the guilt was gone and I was able to breathe once again.

To this day, my mom has that broken vase. Most people would never notice the cracks, but they are there. If you hold it up to the light or try to fill it with water, you can see all the imperfections and mistakes I made while trying to glue it back together. What once was broken, was made even more beautiful with cracks and dried glue, because now that vase has a story to tell.

Some say that I’m broken. They look at my past mistakes in life and even at the fact that I’m living with multiple sclerosis, and all they seem to see are cracks and imperfections. But the most amazing thing happens when you hold me up to the light. You may see my broken places…but, you will also see what makes me beautiful, because in those cracks are the stories of overcoming and standing strong.

Because of those imperfections, I am who I am today…broken bits and all. Light comes pouring out of the gapping holes. My scars tell my story. My MS scars may be invisible to the world, but their effects are made real as I struggle to get through the day. I may not be able to walk more than a few steps on my own, I may not be able to change the sheets on my bed without a fight, I may not be able to hold onto my coffee cup without using two hands…but I keep fighting anyway. I push on. I keep going. Sometimes through a sea of tears, but I keep going.

You have broken places and cracks too. Your mistakes and hurts are real, as well as your disability, but so is your beauty. Let your beauty shine through you and let your story inspire others. Just because you have cracks doesn’t mean you are worthless. You are not broken…you are a container of life, love, brilliance and beauty. Let those things spill out today.

The story in your scars may be just what someone needs to hear in order to keep going.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

10 replies
  1. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    What an awesome post!!! We may have scars and all, but we ALL are beautiful and have such great warrior stories :):):) Thanks Penelope XOXOX

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope, you have a very thoughtful mother and she was good for you. Our bodies are broken but we are still alive and someone is waiting for us that we don’t know about yet.

  3. Christine
    Christine says:

    the quotes you shares in your newsletter were exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you for finding these and sharing.

    my favorite:
    She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings. ― Ariana Dancu

  4. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Have you looked into the MS gym by Trevor Wicken on Facebook? It is free and he does daily sesions for us MSers even those in wheelchairs.Trying to adhere to doing it even though somedays pretty challenging to find the energy. Yesterday was a lesson on how to get up off the floor and one wheelchair user sent a video in of her applying what she learned which was beyond inspirational.

  5. Rhona Kingett
    Rhona Kingett says:

    You’ve managed to put into words what I’ve only just started to realise. I’ve always been able to talk about my life with MS but generally only the few positive bits. However I’ve recently been in the position of talking about some of the negatives and how I’ve got past them. Your writing has been a huge inspiration and people’s reactions to me have shown that I’m doing the right thing.

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