I thought back to the Sunday night she had been born 25 years earlier. I was alone with an amazing doctor and a team of nurses as I brought her into the world. She was a miracle baby for my family doctor had told me to abort her when he found out I was pregnant. He said she would never be born normal and when I decided to take a chance on life and keep her, he refused to keep me as a patient. I had found a young woman doctor who encouraged me throughout the rest of my pregnancy. When Erin was born on that warm summer night, I was told that she was a perfectly healthy and normal baby girl and I was given the greatest gift of my life.
On the night of her operation, I was praying for another miracle.
Why was I not with her you may be asking... it was because she asked me to let her go though this with her boyfriend, an amazing young man that I knew would be there for her in every way. Was it easy... no, but sometimes we as parents must step aside and let our children make their own decisions. She could not deal with having to worry about any one else and I had to respect her wishes for I knew my daughter well.
She survived but no one could have ever imagined the challenges that we would face after she was brought out of that operation. Her life was spared but the life of someone we both loved was taken instead.
Tonight a year later, all I will say is that I am grateful to hear my daughter's voice. She is a survivor and the most courageous woman I have ever met.
This is what she wrote on her Facebook page tonight a year later. Her own way of expressing gratitude.
Last year, on this very day, at this very time, I was undergoing an 8 hour operation that would change my life forever. Despite the tumour resection, the partial temporal lobe resection, the partial hippocampectomy, the months upon months of rehabilitation and therapy, the prescriptions, the 15 brain scans and the mind-blowing seizures, I'm still standing with a smile on my face. I've learned a lot about life over the past 365 days... I've actually learned a lot about people. Today, I want to thank everyone who let me be alone when I couldn't stand to be seen, the people who respected my wishes during sickness, the people who did not make me feel guilty for choosing to go through my struggle independently and the people who realized that my absence from their lives was not me pushing them away but, instead, was part of my recovery- I appreciate all of you more than you'll ever know.