Forty-five years ago today, after having nine miscarriages and after she spent nine months in bed struggling desperately to keep this baby, a young woman gave birth to a little girl, six pounds and six ounces. Her parents' hearts nearly burst with pride as they looked into the eyes of their daughter for the first time. A short time later, the woman's uterus ruptured, prompting a necessary hysterectomy. Little Michelle would be the only child.
In time, the baby would grow into a healthy child and teenager, charming many hearts with her lovely face and genuine smile. Like her mother, however, Michelle would grow up and have only one child as well (me), though for different reasons. Before her daughter turned three, Michelle was diagnosed with cancer of the spinal cord and spent the remaining seven years of her life as a quadriplegic who still managed to smile in spite of the circumstances. When she succumbed to a lung infection at the age of twenty-six, she left behind an enormous hole the lives of her parents and daughter. They would eventually move on, but the pain never completely dissipates from that kind of a loss. That's why a day that once brought great joy is now bittersweet.
Happy birthday, Mom. I miss you with all my heart and wish I could celebrate today with you here in person. I love you.