Sometimes I have to pinch myself as a reminder that I am still walking this earth. I shouldn't be here because the doctor gave me six months to live when I was ten years old. Boy, did I ever make a fool of him.
I will never forget that day. My mother and I had just returned from one of my many visits to the doctor and I was sitting in the middle of my bed. My mother was on the phone giving a report of the doctor visit to my Aunt. Mom was crying and I wasn't paying a lot of attention until I heard her say that the doctor only gives Darlene six months to live. I started laughing. I knew I wasn't going to die. Now why did I not tremble at the news? I really don't know why it amused me instead of terrifying me. Was I just stupid? Or did I have some inner knowledge that I would live to adulthood?
Nonetheless, that diagnosis must have been buried in my subconscious because I always thought that I would die young. Some years later I remember praying to God that he would let me live until I was forty years old. I believed that I would have done everything I wanted to by that age. Now, that was stupid.
My dreams were not grand; I had no aspirations to write the great American novel, compose a beautiful symphony, or to discover a cure for cancer. All I wanted to do was get married, have children and travel. I naively believed that if allowed to do those things I would have lived a full life.
Perhaps it wasn't so naive after all, because that sums up my life. Would my life have been different if my goals were loftier? Probably not. If I had really wanted to accomplish something worthwhile with my allotted time on earth, I would have tried to do so. I have no regrets that my conventional ambition to led to an ordinary life. It has been, as they say, a great ride.
We all have our share of the highs and lows of a life lived. There were disappointments and heartaches along the way, but they were balanced by many happy events. What can be more fulfilling than holding your newborn in your arms for the first time? What greater joy than to hold their newborns and smell the sweet scent of a baby and know you are now a grandmother? The pride felt then could never be topped by seeing your book in print or hearing your composition played.
Why am I waxing philosophical today? It's because it's my birthday and a time for reflection. If that doctor who gave me up for dead was alive now I would love to appear and taunt him for scaring my Mom so badly. Wouldn't it be fun to see his face?