I am afraid of many things, some of them tangible, like my fear of knives, some of not so, like mice. Some of my fears are rational, like the very serious fear of anyone rubbing my back, and some of them are completely absurd, like my fear of the man in the moon. I also have a low grade fear of bridges while my fear of social gatherings at which I am not a teacher creates more than a little anxiety. I am fearful of change because I know the infinte amount of things inherent in change which can create havoc within my heart. I am downright terrified of raised voices or obvious anger, particularly when the anger is directed at me. I am not scared of death but I very much fear I won’t be remembered, an egotistical fear that is not unique to me but which causes me great anxiety. When I really stop and think about it, there are loads of things that scare me, to varying degrees. To call me strong would, often, seem rather ridiculous.

Still…

I am not afraid to cry and I am not afraid of strong emotions, happy or otherwise. I handle crisis with a steadiness that is powerful. I am unafraid of my faith in God–rather, I celebrate it and happily depend on His divine intervention. I am a mother who is excited, not burdened, about the responsibilities that come with the title. I am not only unafraid of another pregnancy and difficult birth, I eagerly anticipate news of a third or fourth child. I fully understand how important it is not to waste a single day. I always think before I speak or act, ever cognizant that each word or action is one I can never undo. I consciously stop to admire God’s handiwork through Nature and I am completely unafraid of strangers. To call me a coward would be to create a falsehood.

I often awake in cold terror, near panic, from nightmares too vivid for me to discuss. Sometimes, it may be eloquently argued, I hide behind my characters and their stories. I am not funny, clever, or witty. I prefer a heartfelt, serious discussion to more non-sensical ones. I am often stubborn to a fault and have been known to allow this stubborn streak to color rational thought. I am often way more emotional than the average person would think is healthy. I’m often quite selfish and, as a result, it can be hard for me to pay as close attention as I should to others. My attention, heart and soul are often so closely connected to my children that I don’t give as much of myself or my time to others as I should. My grip on the past is strong, usually unshakeable. My skill in rationalization unparallelled. I’ve built walls bigger and stronger than the Great Wall of China and I withdraw behind them whenever I feel uncomfortable, effectively shutting out others. To label me smart would be deceiving.

Even though…

My compassion for others is genuine and heart felt. My ability to emphaize and to truly understand real pain often seems unequaled. I make an active effort to engage and care for those around me, often seeking their protection above my own. I’m good at improvising and I’m good at creating imaginative and creative learning opportunities. My every word or act is done out of consideration and love for my children. I am good with children and teaching. I catch on quickly to new things and am willing to anything at least once. College wasn’t academically difficult — indeed, academia was one area in which I consistently exelled, despite moving like nomads as a child. I am extremely adaptable, and I read people well. On important issues, from politics to social to moral, I can hold my own in any conversation. I single handedly overcome anorexia and managed to heal quite a few dark scars alone .To label me ignorant would not be fair.

My eyes are truly a window to my heart—they can be quite expressive. Their shade of blue is also striking at times. Others say they shine when I am happy. My hands have always been small and my fingers long, a few of the limited physical characteristics I actually like. My smile, too, is wide and, I’ve been led to believe, pretty. I strive for an elegant fashion and though I don’t always succeed, I do believe my appearance is classy most of the time. I’m not beautiful, but to call me unattractive wouldn’t be true, either.

Even though…

My eyebrows may as well be bushes, they are so thick. The only time I bother with make-up of any kind, other than powder, is when my young daughters put globes of it on my face. I don’t get embarrassed easily and I’ve been known to appear to servicemen and unexpected visitors half-dressed or dressed in fairy princess garb. The open heart surgery, along with the other two surgeries, have left scars on my body that are strictly unattractive. I could probably stand to lose fifteen pounds or so, but I don’t put forth enough effort to realistically believe it will ever happen again. My hair is, simply, a mess and my fingernails are often chipped. My feet are a foot doctor’s nightmare, cracked and bleeding most of the time. To call me beautiful is an extreme exaggeration.

Indeed, to every positive about me, there is a negative. To every negative, there is a positive. From the neurons in my brain that provide wild thoughts and beliefs to the way I see my world I am little more than one big walking contradiction. Some days I can accept this and some days I find it harder to appreciate or understand the mass of bone and nerves that make me — me.

Until I remember something.

There is no other creature alive with a brain as complex or as highly functional as mine. From the very moment I beecame a single cell in my mother’s womb and quickly divided and multiplied into a newborn baby, a truly astounding thing happened: me. No one has the same set of memories or the same set of people, conversations, dreams, trips; no one has the same depth of pain for the same reasons or the same level of joy for the same reasons as I do. No one views the world and its inhabitants in exactly the same way as I do. No one has the same set of habits as I do, like secretly sticking my head in the freezer or eating ice chips even when there is snow on the ground. No one has the same set of finger prints as I do.

I am a human being. I am the creation of God the Father Almighty. I am, and you are—we all are—living miracles.

  

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