Twenty-two years ago today I almost lost one of the most precious jewels I would ever know. She was born late - way too late, really. But we were busy that week. We had to put her Grandfather in the hospital for what would be one of the last times. Labor pains was not something we could pay attention to that day. My father telling me over his shoulder, as they wheeled him to his room, to go clean my Auntie's house, as he had been too sick to pick up after himself the week that he had stayed there while she was out of town. The nurse telling him that I didn't look in any shape to be cleaning anything. But, of course, I did. I would have done anything for him. Tears welled, as I stood there with my gigantic belly and my little girl's hand in mine, knowing my fifty-eight year old Dad wouldn't live to see my children grow up.
I didn't get far at the cleaning chore - and the note I left said I wasn't feeling very well. My Auntie called me the next morning at the hospital to say congratulations. Yes, she came early that morning, after a harrowing emergency C-Section. Merconium-stained, they said. She may not make it, they said. I wanted to see her, hold her. She was ten pounds four ounces - how could she die? All the other sweet babies in the neonatal unit could fit in your hand. They put sunglasses on mine and took pictures! She threw the oxygen tent off - not a norm in that unit. She responded as soon as I held her. We went home in four days, also unusual for that type of problem. She doesn't like to be without me. Until now.
Now she has her own life, and I am just a part of it. As it should be, if you do your job right. She's graduating from college in June. She is soulful and loving. She has lots of friends and a family that adores her. She's a vegetarian, and stands firmly by her principals. She has an affinity for small children and they flock to her wherever she goes. She is just superb. Happy birthday to my sweet girl. The world is a better place because you are in it.