Two pounds and two ounces. My twin sister was born at 12:26 A.M. on October 23, a whole two months ahead of schedule. My mom held Kayla and knew that she was special. Her fight through twenty some operations and her spirit to survive proved that she was feisty, almost stubborn. Kayla spent most of her life in a children’s hospital, but she occasionally made short trips home accompanied by a full time nursing staff. Before she went into the operating room for the last time, my mom told her it was okay to stop fighting. She had been through enough.
Four pounds and four ounces. I was born at 12:28 A.M. on October 23, two minutes after my sister, but still a whole two months ahead of schedule. I have few memories of the years that she spent with us, but what her time here has taught me has stuck with me my entire life.
I often wonder what my life would be like if I were better looking, better built, or maybe even somebody else all together. I was born with a cleft lip and for many years when I was growing up I was ashamed of it; I thought it made me unattractive. When I think about every complication that my sister was born with, and her struggle for life, I am reminded that I am lucky that I have a cleft lip. She embraced the person that she was, and her life has taught me to love the person that I am.
Twenty-two years and six months have passed. College graduation is on the horizon. It is an emotional time for my family. We should be able to hang two diplomas, but only one will be hung. I reflect on how fast my college years have passed, and I realize the importance of living to the fullest. My twin sister lived her life to the fullest even though it was short. I wake up every morning knowing that I can not hold anything back; I have two lives that I have to live for. It truly is important to live every day to its fullest always loving the person that you are. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.