The Moment Home Readings Buy the Book About The Moments

Finding a Place in the World

I do not have severe Cerebral Palsy by any means, and I live independently. But for two decades of my life (and on my birthdays in particular), I was angry.

Let me try to tell it plainly enough. I was a very premature, low birth weight baby born in 1961. I was not breathing at birth. The doctor who delivered me resuscitated me. I survived, but with some brain damage to the motor area of my brain and a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. I do not have severe C.P. by any means, and I live independently. But for two decades of my life (and on my birthdays in particular), I was angry. I wished the doctor had let me die. I did not feel I fit in. I did not feel a part of the universe.
All that changed sometime in my forties. I don't remember exactly which birthday it was, and I wasn't looking for it.
All I know was my falling apart van was again in the shop for repairs and a co-worker was going out of her way to pick me up for work. Since she was a nurse, worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift, and we lived 45 minutes away, she was picking me up very, very early.
I stood in the bay window in my living room in the dawn light of February, a usually dreary time of year. As I stood there, the sun was rising, just like it had for every other morning of my life.
It struck me for the first time ever, as I was watching the sun rise on the day of my birth, that it was beautiful.
The sun turned a rosy and orange glow as I looked out past the bare black tree in my yard with the fork on top that birds liked to sit on, and the contrast was moving.
I was suffused with a sense of well-being and peace. This was where I was supposed to be and just as I was supposed to be. Suddenly the years of resentment dropped away and I felt at one with the world.
I had been laying the groundwork for a while, I know. I had been working on gratitude for what I had and doing my best to let go of my self-pity, a journey I started when I put down alcohol for good a couple years before.
It was hard work and not work I could do alone. My heart had stopped believing in life, and it showed. After much searching, I found that I knew there was something bigger than me in the universe. It was truly a moment of grace. Thank you Dr. Stewart.


No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
Line Break
With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
Line Break
Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
Line Break
Read More Community Moments →
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.