This I Believe

Zola - Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: birth, carpe diem

Life is Precious and Fragile

I believe life is precious and fragile and should be treasured. No matter what our status in society, we all begin life the same way. We enter into this life as infants, live an average of 75 years, and then we die. Life is very short, so I believe we should delight ourselves in all our relationships, especially those with our children.

My parents believed their children were their heritage and thus loved and nurtured them. At age 45, my father was killed in a coal mining accident in Eastern Kentucky. My Mom, age 40, was left alone to raise 13 children. I was six years old when my father died. This was the most memorable and life-changing experience of my life.

I have only a few memories of my father. I knew he loved us, but when necessary, he was a firm disciplinarian. I remember Dad taking us on July 4th picnics. At Christmas, Dad and Mom would bring home crates of oranges, apples, grapes, and nuts for the family to enjoy. Each year we all received one toy for Christmas and we treasured it like gold. All too quickly Dad was taken from us and the good times we had with him were gone.

The day before my father died, he spanked me because I had disobeyed him. I was very angry at him, and in a childish fury, I wished under my breath that he would die. To my horror, the next day he was dead. I, as a naïve child, thought my wish had killed my father. After many agonizing years of praying that God would bring my Daddy back to me, I came to realize that I was not the reason for his death. I still wonder sometimes why God took my father, but I can see that the circumstances surrounding his death helped to mold me into the person I am today.

After I married, I was excited about starting my own family. However, I was infertile and could not conceive children. For years I struggled with the pain of being childless. I saw other women who were killing, abusing, and aborting their babies. This infuriated me. I couldn’t understand why God allowed women, who did not want babies, to give birth and then discard them like trash.

After many years of prayer, doctor visits, and finally surgery, my husband and I held our first daughter, Jessica, in our arms. Four years later our daughter Rachael was born. We were elated and so thankful.

I often think of the millions of women who have abused, murdered, or aborted their babies. How empty they must feel, realizing they have destroyed part of themselves and their heritage. I can’t imagine life without my children and the great relationships we share. Each time I look at them, once again, I realize how precious and fragile life is. We should treasure each minute we have on earth because life passes too quickly.

August 25, 2006