Fifteen years ago, I was twenty-something. My life was full -- we had a two year old boy with bowl-cut light brown hair, and I'd just delivered the most beautiful black-haired, light-skinned, rosy-lipped little girl the world has ever seen. She was Snow White in person.
A few hours after bringing her into the world, while still in the hospital, I collapsed in the shower. Blood surrounded me, my body was shutting down, my blood pressure plummeted. I saw the infamous white light.
Someone shouted. Hurried footsteps. The nurse's aide who found me panicked, nurses came, two doctors ran - one from his office, one from the emergency room - to see who would get there first, the head nurse told me to focus on her eyes -- I remember her face clearly; I thought she was my dark-skinned, brown-eyed angel.
She blurred and disappeared. Falling, falling, falling, falling....letting go of all but a thread.
A bit of sadness: his graduation, her wedding day.
Overwhelming peace. Peace and clarity of thought: I was okay with this.
Grateful. My baby was healthy. I was the one hurt; she wasn't.
Thankful. I'd given my husband a little boy and a little girl. They could only improve this world.
At some point, God said "not yet," and the doctors and nurses won the battle. I could see again. I searched for my husband. His panicked face is another image I will not forget.
I was too weak to hold my baby; it took weeks to make more blood so I could be strong again. But I survived and I did grow strong enough to enjoy her little girl years, her awkward stage, and now her teen years.
One thing has remained true for 15 years: I'm grateful and thankful for my baby girl.
She can only improve the world.