Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Today is my birthday. I am 36

Dear Deb,
Today is my 36th birthday. 
 I know, I know, you would probably say to me that I was
still a Spring chick or something like that, but I feel kind of old
because I feel old, and I kind of look old, too.
Anyway, I am writing you a letter today to thank you.
Thank you for pushing me.  Thank you for being stern with me, 
especially for never giving up on me.
One day in the burn center, after I had just woken up
 from my 3 1/2-month coma,
 you began doing physical therapy with me.  
I take that back because I know you were working on me
 the WHOLE time I was in the burn center, 
but this is when I started remembering
and I pretty much hated you.  
One day, as you prepared me for bed, strapped my burned
 and bloodied arms into the terrible "airplane splints."
for the whole dang night (to stop my arms pits from contracting), 
you looked at me in my eyes
(I am sure I was crying- because I cried a lot back then),
and you calmly said something to me that I will never ever forget.  
You told me that you were not trying to torture me,
 but you were trying to help me get back to my job as a mother.
You told me that one day- not far off, I will make dinner again for my children,
and I will want to reach for the spaghetti sauce in my pantry.  
You said I wouldn't be able to reach for anything (not even my children) 
if I didn't endure the pain now.   
You told me the harder the work, the better the reward.  You were right.
I worked hard, I pushed, I cried, I tried, I quit, I tried again,
 I screamed I yelled, and I prayed over and over again (sometimes with you!).
  Here I am on my 36th birthday, surrounded by my five beautiful, 
healthy children and wonderful adoring husband.
My body works wonderfully.
I can reach for the sauce (except not today because I don't believe in cooking
on my birthday) and I can do so much more.
We are going to go on a hike today, we'll swim today, and maybe
turn the music up loud and dance around on the back porch,
and of course, I will blow candles out.
Then I will cut up slices of cake for my loved ones 
and reach over the table to pass them out.
 And I can do all of that because you pushed me. 
Thank you for pushing me and believing in me.
I am 36 today, in part because of you. 

Thank you so much,
Love, Stephanie

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