Thirty-five years ago today I felt miserable.
I was so tired waiting for the birth of my second baby, already a couple of weeks overdue. My body ached all over and I was grumpy. My mother and younger brother had arrived to help me, and they took care of child #1 for me. That meant a lot to me then and today.
That morning in 1977, I visited my doctor for my regular weekly visit. He put the stethoscope to my belly, got a strange look in his eyes, and said something like “today is the day!”
I was confused. No contractions, no labor pains. Why did he think this baby was ready to enter the world?
Well, I get tears thinking about it 35 years later. My baby was in distress, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Only the doctor knew how bad things were. But in less than 30 minutes my son was born by C-section and with thanks to medical science in 1977 and the heavenly blessings above, he was born safe and sound and without any infirmities!
Every time I see my son today, I say a quiet prayer of thanks! He has blessed me with a wonderful granddaughter, and has entered the same profession that gave him to me 35 years ago.
If I had been an expectant mother in Gaza all those years ago, would my son have survived? If he survived birth, would he have survived his youth in the largest open-air prison in the world? If he survived the occupation which beats down even the strongest men and women, what opportunities would he have in Gaza today with an unemployment rate at nearly 50% for men his age.
I have so much to be thankful for. And today it’s for my son whose life has been the best birthday gift anyone could ever imagine!