There had been moments when I just wasn't sure we would make it. So much had happened among us: even just since I'd celebrated my thirty-eighth birthday, and my brother his thirty-fifth.
In the 365 days between my birthdays, Jim had undergone gastric-bypass surgery (and I'd acknowledged, signature on the line, risks up to and including death); my older nephew's elbow and fingers had been pinned back together after a serious ATV accident; my brother had gone paralyzed and, subsequently, undergone surgeries to insert a nerve stimulator in his back; and I'd undergone an emergency c-section to get Baby Chip, whom I'd been terrified over since (one month after a miscarriage) getting pregnant.
For the first time on this birthday, my thirty-ninth, we're all safely in the world. Everyone in my immediate family--including both the one into which I was born and the one my man and I have created--is here. We're a perfect dozen: the cookie-baker in me just loves that!
In the past 39 years, I've fought with my family. I've fought for them and wrestled with the Lord over them...just enough to know: for this and every birthday, they're all I want. They're the very best of what I have.
There were never any guarantees, and there still aren't. Every day we have is a gift. To know, feel, and really rejoice in it is another.
|Mom and Clementine|
|My Dad, My Brother, and Chip|
|My Brother's Wife Sarah (and the godmother of all my children) with Chip|
|My Nephew CJ (AKA Evel Knievel)|
|Dad and Charleigh|