Michel: Halloween made special yearly with child’s birthday

Published 12:04 am Saturday, October 29, 2016

Regardless of our nationalities, careers or choice for president, there’s something we share — we all have a birthday.

My granddaughters not only have birthday parties every year, their mothers also celebrate their half-birthdays. It’s a big deal for us to honor the day someone was born.

Twenty-two years ago, after almost a year of chemotherapy, I was advised to take it easy because my body needed a couple of years to recover. Three months later I woke up feeling like I was on chemotherapy, then realized that nausea could also accompany pregnancy. A test later that morning confirmed that I was carrying my fifth child.

“You probably have access to all sorts of statistics and lists of terrible things that could go wrong with this pregnancy,” I told the obstetrician on my first visit. “I don’t want to know them. I believe this baby will be perfect and I’m asking you to believe that with me.”

I don’t know what he was thinking when he heard those words, but he immediately prayed for me and for my baby.

Other people told me how they were chided when they gained too much weight. Not me. Nevertheless, I wanted to stay as healthy as possible and tried to go for a long walk every day. In addition to tiring me, it hurt.

“Then don’t walk,” the doctor said. “Sit on the sofa and enjoy your pregnancy.” I obeyed his orders.

Later, during an ultrasound, I was asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I agreed since I just knew I was having a boy.

“It’s a girl!” the technician said as he pointed to the grainy image I already cherished.

The ultrasound also revealed that the baby would be born in late October, close to Halloween.

“Oh, my daughter will not be born on that day,” I said. Every other day of the year, my children had access to costumes and candy, but I didn’t like the scary celebrations associated with Halloween.

“Don’t you think that God has a sense of humor?” my doctor said. “Wouldn’t it be great if He redeemed that day for you? Every day is holy unto the Lord.”

When I woke up in labor on Oct. 31, 1994, I didn’t care about the calendar. It was my little girl’s birthday and I knew that for the rest of my life, every Oct. 31 would be anticipated and celebrated with pink balloons and cake!

The birthday of my fifth child, Victoria Grace, is always special. Her life is a daily reminder that God not only spared my life when I was diagnosed with leukemia, but He added another beautiful life to our family. Our birthdays are special, too. Regardless of which day it falls on, or how many we’ve had, I pray that we all celebrate the years God gives us with a life that honors Him.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.