Eighteen Years

Tomorrow, February 1st will mark my eighteenth birthday. I’ll be able to buy my own lottery ticket (and an assortment of other stuff) as well as be free of a curfew and not be under my parents responsability. But for me, it’s not just about all those things. It’s actually a lot more then that.

I was a premature baby; my mother gave birth to me when I was only at the twenty-seven week gestation period, and spent about four and a half months in the NICU. My survival rate was skeptical and there were several times where I came close to death. I have several major surgeries over the course of time, and have been through various physical and emotional stages throughout my life, some that will have a lasting effect on me. But I am here at this moment, alive.

When one is healed from a sickness/disease, or have miraculously survived a health-related ordeal, much of the credit will go to modern medicine. I do agree that there is truth to that, but only to an extent. On the other side of things, one has to have the will-power and the strength to fight so that the medicine will work.

 My mom has always told me that even at two days old, I was a feisty little thing; I was constantly kicking my diapers off and the nurses had to put little mittens on my hands, and somewhat pin them to the bed so that I wouldn’t tear off the tube that was connected to the ventilator. I don’t think that a one pound, fifteen ounce baby could do that alone. I believe that I am still because of the amazing Grace of God. When it all comes down to it, Faith and spirituality are the two most core things that have gotten me to this point in my life. I do believe that I have a purpose; otherwise I don’t think I would be here.

Last night I wept, not in sadness or frustration, but in gratitude. That happens sometimes, where there are little to no words that can express my being thankful, so I just cry. I am incredibly thankful for my family, especially  my parents and grandparents, who’ve been my champions and “biggest fans” (as my Grandfather likes to phrase it) since I was born. My Mom and Dad have supported me in everything I’ve done, and have done their best to comfort me and be there for me when hugs and kisses couldn’t make everything better.

My siblings have also played a huge role in me getting to where I am today; at just a baby himself, my brother was my motivation for crawling and later on, walking. Now he has been the one that has motivated me to get my butt in gear and get my driver’s liscense. My sister has always helped take care of me, both physically and emotionally. I am so proud of them for what they have accomplished athletic-wise, and they’ve become my role models for hard work and success.

Friends, regardless of how long they’ve been in my life or how close I’ve been with them are very special to me as well. There are very many who’ve taken the time in getting to know me and trying to understand me, as there are times where I feel misunderstood by the rest of the world. Regardless of the time or circumstances, I see them all as angels and am grateful for their love and support.

This particular post may sound incredibly sappy and sentimental to some, but this is a huge milestone for me. Also, I consider myself to be very blessed by still having the chance to be here, so I try to appreciate even the smallest things in life. Birthdays are included 🙂

The journey is not over for me though…in fact, it’s far from over. I have many more things to accomplish, including graduating from high school in about three months and going away to school not long after. It’s going to be quite a ride, but a ride that I’ll no less do my best to enjoy and cherish. 

If there was any way to sum up how I feel about my life, these lyrics (“Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas) would jut about do it: 

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

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