This is a guest post by Elaine Pennington describing her journey with Cystic Fibrosis.
My story started at birth with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) a genetic lung disease. It varies in severity and it almost always wins. My CF didn’t start to really progress until I hit my teens. While some kids biggest worry was homecoming mine was “am I going to have to go to the hospital”. I frequented the hospital while in school and would miss weeks at a time. I even did IV’s while I was at school. I did whatever it took to be there and to be as normal as possible. A hospital is not a fun place to be when you are a teenager. I wanted to do everything that everyone else did because if I didn’t it was admitting that I was sick.
Early 20s hit and that was the turning point. Lots of hospital stays, procedures, you name it and it was happening to me. At this point I had to be on oxygen 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I had an oxygen concentrator in my room that I was hooked up to. It was my life line. I had enough tubing for me to be able to get to every room in the house that I needed to. I also had 2 portable units one for short outings and another for longer trips. I hated both portable units because they are cumbersome and heavy when they are filled with oxygen. I hated going out in public and only did so when I absolutely had to or when my mom persuaded me to get out of the house. I just kept thinking that there has to be a lighter and better way to go out in public on oxygen. An 80lb girl trying to carry a purse and oxygen unit while shopping or walking around was such a hassle and wore me out.
So, with all of that going on everyday life was getting tiring. Very tiring. Thank goodness I received my double lung transplant on April 15, 2004. Nothing beats the happiness and fear of that time. The happiness was obviously the chance for a new life but the fear, oddly enough was breathing! I didn’t know what it was like to breathe normally and I had to keep asking people if I was breathing OK!
Breathing is precious and truly a gift. If you are a parent or loved of of someone who has struggled to breathe then you know the heartache, the equipment needs, the hassle, and the frustrations it can cause. I know that you would breathe for them if you could. The comfort is knowing that new medicines, improved, and innovated new equipment are brought to us by those who are passionate about changing the lives of those for the better. They are the true heroes and should always be encouraged to keep striving for their goal. Every medical ‘convenience’ was created by someone because there was a need for it and they cared. So, keep doing what you do because we appreciate it with every breath we take. You make our lives liveable.
The Written by. Michael D. Perkins
This is a guest post by Kimberly Weninger. Check out Kim’s other work on her own blog http://heavenlyherbs-kimann.blogspot.com/
Hi. My name is Kim Weninger and I’m a Master Herbalist and Michelle’s aunt. I would like to tell you my story.
In my line of work as an herbalist I’ve seen many people with serious lung issues. The statistics for lung disease are abysmal with approximately a million people each year on oxygen for different lung problems in the United States. Indeed I myself have been seriously sick with asthma and lung issues since I was a little girl.
In fact my whole family has suffered with this affliction; from my husband to my two grown children. My daughter is the one in our family with the most serious issues however. She had a series of episodes several years ago that almost took her life. I was very fortunate that I knew how to do respiration’s on her; that the paramedics were amazing and that the hospitals knew their stuff. Still the answer for us was not with traditional medicine. We needed to find an answer to Kristin’s episodes of flight for life and ICU visits as well as for all our health needs.
I came into herbalism through an episode as well. We had just been cleaning out a small out building on our farm and I accidentally inhaled a tiny bit of powder from a lawn fertilizer. I quickly left the area and used my inhaler; not thinking anything about it. But after several days realized something was seriously wrong. A quick trip to the doctor revealed bronchitis that soon became a life threatening form of pneumonia. I could not get a handle on it; my lungs seemed to be getting worse and worse and it was a huge effort to take a breath in and out. After three weeks the physician; even though puzzled, decided I needed to be in a hospital. I refused as I knew deep in my heart that the only other things they could do would be to put in an IV and intubate me. This was just a stop gap measure and I wasn’t sure they’d find the answers I needed to be well before it was too late.
Instead I went to a Master Herbalist in a neighboring town. She took one look at me and said that I should have called earlier! After a quick muscle test I was floored to find out that all the meds; all the treatments I was giving myself were not helping because the doctor was treating an illness that wasn’t there. I had heavy metal poisoning. We went over a few things to find out what could have caused this; and no it’s not like Perry Mason….no one was trying to get my life insurance. It was the blasted lawn chemical exposure! I never realized until I did my homework that this common lawn product is very detrimental to the health of lungs and other body systems! And although it’s a dangerous product for anyone to be around; people with compromised lungs are especially vulnerable.
So after a cleanse of Activated Charcoal and liquid Bentonite; she put me on (Nature’s Sunshine) Breathe Activator and Lung Support to help the lungs heal properly. http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/breathe-activator-tcm-conc-30-caps/sku-1036.aspx The healing process of my lungs only took four days before I was almost myself again. I couldn’t believe the thought that alternatives could work so well and that the truth of my illness could be found so easily! I was hooked. So several years later; with many classes, trials and errors here I am. I work with clients to help them find what is at the root of their illness with things like muscle testing, studying living habits, diet and even a cool little tool called the ZYTO Compass machine. This machine works much like bio feedback in that it uses the body’s energy field to find imbalances to get back to homeostasis.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in my work is that an unclean body is never going to stay well; in fact it’s one of the root causes of illness today. And having said that; many people do not realize that the lungs are affected deeply by not only an unclean intestinal tract but by toxins most would not realize are an issue.
I found out that if you have toxins in the body; you simply cannot breathe properly. Physicians will do their level best to help with many drugs to keep the lungs working but for me and my daughter this was ineffectual. We found out that one drug we were prescribed was a big portion of the problem and as soon as it was stopped; felt much better.
So what would I tell someone that has breathing problems if they were my client? I would say that their liver, their colon and small intestine need cleaning; first and foremost. I would tell them that DIET is key to helping them breathe better; not medicine. Things like pH balancing, dropping ALL animal dairy from the diet is vital (its mucus producing for the lungs and the intestines) and addressing even the seemingly small issues like stress. This can have a huge impact on health. I even work with people to understand that latent emotions can be a huge underlying problem; causing unwanted and even life threatening illness to the body.
The one thing I do not do is try to force my ideas of alternatives on anyone. Almost all my clients are people that have come to me because the system failed them. It isn’t that physicians are bad; that the hospitals aren’t doing their best. It’s that there are sometimes better ways to help the body than throwing a medicine into an already weakened state. We need to change our idea of health to be exactly that; healthy not sick, strong not weak. Our body has the most amazing ability to heal itself if given the right tools to do so. God made us perfect in His image and as a Godly woman believe that this is the right path toward health. A clean living, organic way of life will never hurt and might just make those lungs work better than ever.
My beautiful daughter Kristen today.
The Following post has bits and pieces from our latest Press Release that went out about our Updated Busy Breathers® Deluxe Oxygen Backpack. I’m so proud to say that we just had our third production run hit our warehouse a few weeks ago and the New Design has already hit the market.
August 21, 2012 Busy Breathers LLC., the maker of portable oxygen backpacks, released their upgraded version of their product to better accommodate “D” oxygen cylinders and to include an improved inside pouch to better secure the different size tanks.
“We talked to several of our customer’s about how to make our bags easier to use and more convenient for them,” said Michelle Staley, founder of Busy Breathers. “Based on their feedback, we redesigned the bag to be more durable and easier to use.”
Busy Breathers Deluxe Oxygen Backpack works for all ages from Elderly all the way down to a toddler. Perfect idea for a family that has a baby on oxygen. Accommodates A,B,C,D Cylinders, 10lb weight capacity/limit. The Busy Breather redesigned bag includes the following features
Busy Breather redesigned bag includes the following features:
- Organizer pocket to carry keys, credit cards, paperwork, etc.
- An adjustable chest strap to help secure the backpack.
- Reinforced base to help support oxygen cylinder.
- Rubberized handle for comfortable carrying.
- Mesh window for easy tank gauge viewing and safety.
- Extra padded shoulder straps for comfort.
- Metal grommet for nasal cannula access.
- Cell phone pocket and water bottle pouch with drawstring.
- Inside cylinder holding pouch with adjustable toggle
- 10lb weight capacity/limit
- Accommodates A,B,C,D Cylinders
The redesigned bags are now available for purchase at Walgreens.com, Apriadirect.com and http://www.busybreathersllc.com/.
Inside cylinder holding pouch with adjustable toggle. Easily carries different sized oxygen cylinders.
Organizer pocket to carry keys, credit cards, extra oxygen cannulas, prescriptions, paperwork etc.
About Busy Breathers, LLC
Busy Breathers,LLC, based in Fort Morgan, Colo., is a backpack that’s designed to accommodate an oxygen cylinder, with an opening for tubes and a mesh window that makes the tank gauge reading visible. It was developed by Michelle Staley whose son was born prematurely and had to be on oxygen for about two years. Busy Breathers has won several awards including the Huggies® MomInspired™ grant in 2010 and recognized by Contemporary Pediatrics Magazine as a “Best New Tech Product” in 2011. For more information about the company, to purchase the product and find sales locations, please visit www.BusyBreathersLLC.com
I first developed the initial idea for Busy Breathers when her son was born three months premature and was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit of Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver for four months. After our son was released, he still needed to be on oxygen for two years, so Staley developed the Busy Breathers backpack to make it more convenient for her to juggle her toddler and an oxygen tank.
Hands free mobility. Parent can carry child while oxygen tank is being carried securely on their back. Kristin is carrying a D Sized Oxygen Cylinder.
Older child on oxygen can carry his own oxygen easily with our backpack.
Hands Free Mobility for the active toddler on the go. Mom can wear the pack and child ca
- Works for all ages
I was sure that I was overreacting and the doctor was going to be annoyed by my phone call. It was 10:00 PM on a Saturday, April 16, 2011 and I had some weird pregnancy symptoms at exactly 24 weeks. I had my first son at 34 weeks and this pregnancy had been a complicated one so far, so I needed to ease my mind. Much to my surprise, the on call OB-GYN took my history and mild symptoms seriously. He instructed that I head straight to the labor and delivery triage where they would give me a test that would see if I was at risk of going into labor within the next two weeks. They were waiting for me when I arrived and within about 20 minutes we learned I was positive for risk of going into labor and I was 70-80% effaced. I was transferred to another hospital that could handle the birth of a 24 week baby and I was put on hospitalized bed rest indefinitely. Five, short days, later, Owen was born weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces at 24 weeks, 5 days gestation.
There really is nothing that can prepare you to be the parent of a micro preemie or chronically ill child. Most days, I’m glad I didn’t know what was ahead of me, I’m not sure I’d have had the courage to face those lowest days and weeks. After 6 months in the NICU due to many complications stemming from a perforated bowel at one month old, we were overjoyed to finally bring Owen home. However, respiratory illnesses had him in and out of the hospital another 50 days by his first birthday. At 14 months old, Owen is entirely fed from a g-tube and still requires continuous oxygen. In total, the diagnoses are too many list, but for his lungs alone, Owen has Severe Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), Tracheomalacia and Asthma/Reactive Airway Disease.
Owen November 2011 – 7 months old
Life with chronic lung diseases can be frustrating on so many levels. It feels we are on constant alert of Owen’s breathing status. Was that cough wet? What is his respiratory rate? How are his oxygen saturations? Are his nostrils flaring? And then, there are the day to day inconveniences of continuous oxygen; tripping over cords, getting cords tangled, cords not reaching, tanks running out in the middle of the night, trying to talk over the drone of the concentrator, or attempting a quick errand while hauling a tank, baby carrier and, some days, the monitor. In addition there are the red marks left by tape on his face, the constant checking to make sure his cannulas are in his nose and the continuous oximter…I know it’s a wonderful invention, but I’d love to meet that machine in a dark alley with a baseball bat one day.
Owen June 2012 – 14 months old
With all that said, I know that we are lucky. We are lucky to have a sweet and smiley 14 month old that is teaching us what really matters in life. While many of Owen’s struggles may always be with him, we know that each day his lungs are getting stronger. We know that we are in a much better place today than we were a year ago and have reasonable expectations that next year will be even better. This isn’t where I thought we’d be when I made that timid phone call to the doctor in April 2011, but we have two happy sons and we have hope for both to have bright futures and for that, we are thankful.
You can learn more about Owen at Ain’t No Roller Coaster. You may especially enjoy reading Owen’s Open Letter to Nasal Cannulas.
Hi my name is Elaine Pennington and I was born with Cystic Fibrosis It is a genetic lung disease that as age progresses so does the disease. The illness also effects everyone at a different pace. It didn’t start to worsen for me until I was in my late teens to 20′s. At this point I was in and out of the hospital constantly. IV’s, treatments, and on oxygen 24 hrs a day. I was awaiting lung transplant just accruing my time on the list and waiting. The waiting, it was always so heavy on my mind. Every time the phone rang it could’ve been ‘that call’. ’That moment’ where I’d finally know what its like to breathe.
So, while I was waiting like I said I was on oxygen all the time. I had a machine running 24 hrs a day 7 days a week that I used at home. The oxygen tubing I was connected to was literally my life line. I could go through any room of the house and still be connected to the oxygen machine. If I had to go out in public I filled up a small portable oxygen unit but it only lasted for so many hours. It was heavy and in the way most of the time but I had no choice. It made me not want to go out and do things. It made me feel like everyone was starting at me or .afraid of me like I was a creature from another planet. I wished I had, had a product such as that of Busy Breathers. Those with breathing issues still want to go and do things. We have lives too and we don’t like being tied down to machines. We want to feel as normal as possible. Its why I think Michelle and her business is just fantastic!
Thankfully for me I received the ultimate gift and on April 15, 2004 I got a new life with a double lung transplant. My first words after that breathing tube was pulled was…. “I can breathe!!!” It was the most exhilarating, relieving, and scariest moment of my life! I could finally breathe and it was effortless. It had never been like that in my entire life. I kept having to ask everyone if I was o.k. because it was the weirdest sensation to breathe and not have to spend all my energy or to to have every breath be such an effort. If you ever want to know what its like not to breathe then run as hard and fast as you can. Lay down with something heavy on your chest and try to breathe. That, is what its like. I will never forget that feeling and I will always be grateful for every breath I take.
This is one of the pieces of my artwork that I sent to my sister Erin. She is helps out with a Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser every year.. They auction off all sorts of things from local people and such. My artwork that I sent last year raised a lot of money for the cause. It's really is a wonderful thing!
The innovative products and the dedicated work of those that want to help people who struggle with breathing issues will always have a special place in my heart.
Keep doing what you do. Keep fighting for and protecting those who can’t do it for themselves. Everyone knows someone who cannot breathe so well and I know you want to breathe for them. Just stay strong and be there for them in any way possible because my hope is that one day everyone will finally …. Just Breathe.
Marrisa as a baby
Written by T.J. Brindle the Preemies Mom
Three of my children were Preemies. Two of them came home on oxygen. Marissa was a 34 weeker. She had an uneventful 2 week stay in the NICU. A week after she came home, she spit up and aspirated. We had to rush her to the emergency department, where she was put on the ventilator and we were told she might not survive through the night. Luckily, Marissa is a fighter and she not only survived, but was off the ventilator in 5 days. Her lungs, however, were very damaged. After several weeks, she still needed oxygen, so they finally let us come home with it. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. Our dreams of having a “normal” baby were taken away. We could no longer pick up our baby girl and walk to where we wanted to go. We had to make sure the oxygen tubing came with us. We battled with bloody noses and raw marks on her face from the stickers. We tried several times to get her off the oxygen. After 6 months, we were finally successful. She is 5 years old now and continues to have respiratory issues several times during the year.
Sophia at 24 weeks
Sophia was a 24 weeker. She spent 100 days in the NICU. She has BPD from being on the ventilator for several weeks. She had to come home on oxygen and an apnea monitor. At 5 months we had only seen her face without oxygen for a short period of time. When she was finally able to come off at 5 ½ months, we were ecstatic! Unfortunately, at 8 months, she got her first cold. She was having issues with her oxygen level dropping and had to go back on oxygen. That means, we not only have to carry our oxygen tank, but also the feeding pump. It is a process to anywhere. Sophia is now 9 months and still on the oxygen, we are hoping that we will see her entire beautiful face soon.
To those of you with babies on oxygen, hang in there. It can be very frustrating, but the alternative is much worse. My husband and I try to remember how lucky we are to have our perfect girls with us. We are also thankful that we don’t have to stay in the hospital until they are able to come off the oxygen. At home, they are able to thrive and we can relax somewhat.
Collin (born at 30 weeks) now 3yrs old, Sophia (born at 24 weeks) now 9mos old and Marissa (born at 34 weeks) now 5 yrs old
T.J. said that I could share her email address with my readers that way if any other families wanted to reach out to her and connect even further they could get in touch with her. Here is her email address email@example.com Thank you so very much T.J. for sharing your story and giving us a glimpse at your precious family. I am so happy that T.J. and her family will soon be experiencing life getting around a little easier with oxygen with our Busy Breather Deluxe Oxygen Backpack.
When I sat out on the journey with my product little did I know what a huge impact it would have on so many other families, but in return what an impact it would have on my own family. As many inventions or products come about it’s typically out of necessity or a need such as mine was. Here is how our journey began:
“I knew there had to be a better system to carry all of those items”
In 2005, pregnancy complications required me to have an emergency C-section three months ahead of my due date. When my first and only son, Ty, was finally able to come home from the hospital, he weighed just over 1.5 pounds and was required to be on oxygen around the clock. For any new mom it’s hard enough to deal with the challenges of having a baby in tow with a diaper bag and purse, but I also had to add an oxygen tank to the mix. I knew there had to be a better system to carry all of those items. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to create my own and my product and business was born.
Because the emotion and the “Why” behind my business is my son, I always want to carry that emotion through every sale that I have. Every interaction I have with a customer and in the way I market my business. I also want people to know and feel that the product they are using had many thoughts and hours put into it and that I truly want it to make a difference in their daily lives. Yes, like anyone that goes into business you want to make money but first and foremost I want to make a definite difference in my customer’s lives.
I would say that what I strive to do every day in my business has not changed since I started back in 2008. Remembering my core values and “Why” I started my business in the first place. I want people to understand when they see my business name it is so much more than just a brand name, it has true value and meaning to it. Our story is reflected every time someone see’s my logo, my product, reads or hears about it.
I also continuously remind myself what my definition of Success is. I saw this quote once not sure the source but love it “A dictionary can give you a definition of success, but real success is only determined by you”. To me “Success” is the feeling of accomplishment that I feel from within. Knowing that what I am doing is making a difference and changing people’s lives. I do however have days when my definition of Success strays a little bit because I have yet to meet my financial goals with my business. That’s when I have to remind myself what my “Mission” has always been with my business and that is helping others and making their lives easier.
Originally posted on thecravecompany.com on March 1, 2012
There are a lot of things I love about my business but the biggest thing I love about it is touching other peoples lives because of the circumstances that brought us our 27 weeker and the “Why” behind our business. Our 27 weeker just turned 7 back on Valentines Day a few weeks ago. Every Valentines Day is a huge moment for our family, but this year it was extra special! The day before on February 13, our little red head and I made a trip to Presbyterian Saint Lukes Hospital in Denver. I still get anxiety to this day when I pull into the parking garage at PSL. I don’t like parking garages for multiple reasons! For starters I scraped the whole top of my brothers pickup when I had to park at a lower level one time trying to get to care time with my baby at that same parking garage. I had to have 6 six security guards ride on the running boards to weigh the truck down enough so I could drive up and out out of the garage. Mind you the pickup had plenty of clearance under the clearance sign when we pulled in, so it wasn’t my bad driving. But the main reason I get anxiety is the memories that come flooding back to the daily trips I made their for 120 days while Ty was in the NICU. Fear, worry, uncertainty and nervousness! On this day however I was able to turn around and look at my beautiful son and was reassured he was a happy healthy boy, was with me in the car, and that he was OK.
This day was a joyous day because we were going to the hospital to help another family in need. A family that had two beautiful Preemie twins that were going to be going home on oxygen in the days to come. Ty and I were going to help this family in one of the biggest ways we could, by donating a couple of Busy Breathers Backpacks to their family. I knew from my own experience that taking a Preemie home from the hospital was daunting enough, but taking them home on oxygen added a whole new level of concern. This family had two babies going home on oxygen, so take that concern times two.
I am honored to say that the family let me meet these two precious little babies and let me tell you they were adorable! You can see for yourself just how cute in the cbs link below. I was also able to hug the Mom and tell her that I was just a phone call away if she just wanted to talk to someone that had experienced the NICU and taking a Preemie home on oxygen. I knew that I couldn’t take the fear away but that I could make their lives a little easier by giving them the backpack that I designed to make our own lives easier while our son was on oxygen. This day was such an amazing day, meeting the family and twins. The nurse that was taking care of the twins was also one of Ty’s nurses while he was in the NICU at PSL. We were also able to share our Valentines story along with the twins story by being interviewed by Kathy Walsh and Denver CBS 4 News that same day. http://cbsloc.al/xMTThX I always say it’s a full circle moment for me when it comes to Presbyterian Saint Lukes Hospital and my business! We always get a big warm welcome from the NICU staff when we go back and visit. Their Re:sourxe Giftshops also carry our Busy Breathers Deluxe Oxygen Backpacks. http://resourxe.com/resourxe-stores So not only was our son born their but essentially so was our business.
February 13, 2012 was a great day for our whole family. Ty’s grandparents also made the trip with us to the hospital. Ty was so excited to have his Grandaddy and Grandma their with us! While we waited for the interview to start my folks and I reflected back on that fateful Valentines day back on 2005 when our little miracle came into this world.
I am so thankful that people continue to see the value in my product and in my business and are willing to share our story on many levels in both the media and by word of mouth. By people sharing our story and spreading the word about our product we are able to help that many more families. I will forever hold gratitude in my heart towards the Jensson family for allowing me to meet their precious babies and allowing us to share their story. A huge Thank You to Angie Anania and Presbyterian Saint Lukes Hospital, Kathy Walsh and Denver CBS 4 News.
On and ending note I would also like to share that we had no issues getting the vehicle out of the parking garage when we left, so it was a fabulous day for meany reasons!
It has been a busy few months behind the scenes that have led up to this posting. Lots of unknowns and nail biting, but I forged ahead. There have also been some exciting additions and mentions for Busy BreathersTM. To start with Busy BreathersTM has been officially trademarked, something I have wanted to do for quite some time. Mini celebration dance over here!
Busy BreathersTM Deluxe Oxygen Backpack was recognized in Contemporary Pediatrics Magazine as a “Best New Tech Product” in 2011. Contemporary Pediatrics offers pediatric health providers continuing education on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of illness and behavior problems. I am highly honored that my product would be recognized by such a highly regarded periodical in the health care industry. Busy BreathersTM was also featured in Home Business Magazine. Their home Office editorial includes product descriptions and management advice as well as business opportunities, franchising and work-from-home success stories.
One of the biggest things I am excited about is the addition of a fabulous new product to our Busy BreathersTM line. I’m proud to announce that I have added a Pediatric Pulse Oximeter to our website this past week. It’s the first one of it’s kind on the market. From a Mom that knows what it is like to have a child on oxygen and worrying about their oxygen levels at all the times this brings me so much joy! Just knowing that this Pediatric Pulse Oximeter can help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety for other families in the same position. A friend of mine got one for her little girl and she said that her little girl loves it and doesn’t want to take it off of her finger. This pulse oximeter is portable and can check a child’s oxygen level at any given notice. Helping eliminate anxiety while monitoring oxygen level and heart rate. Its compact design includes a special mark to help children with proper finger placement. It can run for 30 hours of continuous operation with two AAA batteries.
On and ending note, but what a great note to end on Busy BreathersTM Deluxe Oxygen Backpack will be carried on the website of one of the largest home health care companies in America. The Big Announcement right around the corner!
Thanks as always for the continued support! Sincerely, Michelle
Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. “Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Marjorie Forrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Carrie Rutledge, twins. Patron Saint … give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.” Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a preemie.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says ‘mama’ for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles.
Thank you for blessing us with our little miracle God! We are forever Grateful!