There’s no significant holiday in August, so my birthday has always felt like one.
My parents have a beautiful frame that holds two of my footprints and my birth announcement. Around the age of 10, I remember reading it, trying to understand it, and then carefully taking the frame it to my mom, asking her what it meant.
There’s a reason why there are two footprints in that frame.
The first one, very tiny, has the following caption:
- 1 lb., 15 oz.
The second one, a little bigger, has the following caption:
- 5 lbs., 10 oz.
I came into this world 15 weeks too soon.
I was given a 50/50 chance of survival.
I am a survivor.
My birth announcement indicates that I came home from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City on my actual due date – November 18th.
Through pictures and stories, I learned I was on oxygen for the first full year of my life. I was hospitalized twice within that first year for the common cold.
My favorite baby picture is the one where my dad’s wedding ring fit through my whole hand, hanging off my tiny wrist like a bracelet.
I first flew on an airplane when I was six months old, oxygen and all.
My parents put me in every kind of therapy program imaginable – Speech, occupational, physical. You name it, I was probably in it.
As I grew older, I simply marveled at, and was humbled by, my beginnings.
I was placed in a class called “Developmental First” at my elementary school, in between kindergarten and first grade. It technically held me back for a year, but it was a wonderful class that helped me immensely. There were about 10 other kids in the class with me, who all needed an extra boost, so to speak. My mom and my teacher, Mrs. Mansell, are still close friends to this day.
I was in occupational therapy until third grade, working on my motor skills.
I was in speech therapy until fourth grade. I still remember the day that I was pulled out of Mrs. Hartis’s class and told that I had “graduated” from speech.
Towards the end of elementary school, I discovered my passion for writing. The “Young Authors” program / contest was held every year, and each student created their own story, writing and illustrating it. Once finished, it was bound with spiral-looking plastic and sent off to be reviewed. My little book, titled “Electro Girl,” was chosen for recognition, and my parents and I were invited to an awards ceremony. That ceremony is also where I also met my best friend, Melissa.
Since then, I haven’t been illustrating any more books, but I’ve been trying to write them. I’ve kept a blue binder, covered in stickers, that’s full of stories that I wrote from age 10, all the way through the end of high school. I want to dig it out at some point and look through it again.
Reflecting on my time so far on this Earth, I feel immensely humbled and blessed. There were so many people who bent over backwards for me – My parents, my family, our friends, the doctors and nurses, teachers, and so many others. There were thousands of prayers, kind words, and constant encouragement – Then, and now.
Before I leave you on this gorgeous Sunday morning, I want to share my favorite Bible verse with you.
I think I was in sixth grade when I was first introduced to this passage. I clearly remember the first time I read this passage in my own Bible – I immediately grabbed a pen and underlined it.
For those who know me, I almost NEVER make marks / highlights / notes in any books, at all, unless it’s super important or significant.
It’s stuck with me ever since.
On tough days, I know that I can look at this verse, and I feel peace.
God has a plan.
He always does.
Thanks for reading.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂