To begin, let me say that I live a blessed life, surrounded by
friends and family that love and support me. I attempt to appreciate
such great fortune as much as I am able, especially as I have grown
older and seen such disparity between friends of mine who do not enjoy
my same socioeconomic advantages. Even now, as I am preparing to
leave for college, which promises to be a separate segment of my life
entirely, I know I have my parents and friends to look to in times of
trouble. That is not to say I haven't lived without struggle.
From the onset of my life, at the very inception of my beginning
days, I endured disappointment. I was an unhealthily premature baby,
8 weeks ahead of schedule by the doctors shared estimations.
Naturally, this made me extremely fragile and unhealthy. I had to
extend my stay in the hospital from a single night to almost two weeks
as my parents weighed the magnitude of the reality they were facing:
if their first-born son would die before even leaving his hospital
incubator. I had every device available monitoring my precarious
state of health, and I know that my parents listened to every one of
my heart beats in an attempt to be somewhat closer to me. As you may
have guessed, I ended up recovering.
That was not to be the last of my health problems. In third and
fourth grade I got sick with pneumonia that threatened my life. My
sophomore year of high school, I had what doctors believed at first to
be a dangerous heart-arrhythmia from which I would also eventually
recover. And, for good measure, I also had panic attacks so
frequently I had to be medicated, and was almost diagnosed with an
All of these things aside though, what one of my father's childhood
friend's posits is that I am able to persevere because of how I began
my life. She believes that because I was born so weak and had to
fight, that I formed a large part of my person immediately. She
believes, and has convinced me to believe, that enduring these
struggles so early instilled some bit of iron in me that enabled me to
overcome what challenges I faced, especially as they relate to health.
I in no way think that I'm extraordinary, or otherwise remarkable,
but I am thankful for the environment in which I live now. I'm also
pressed to contemplate if my father's friend was correct in that my
socialization process was so drastic and so immediate that it formed
much of my being. Regardless, I find it to be a fascinating thought.
If we can all seek to find what is a large part of ourselves, perhaps
we can use that knowledge to secure better lives for ourselves, each
other, and our children. If I can do so, I give all appreciation and
thanks to those who have made my life full of wonder. Only the
mistakes have been mine.