Monday, October 10, 2005

Vicki's Story, Part One

I procrastinated long enough (roughly twenty years or so to be exact), but I think it’s finally time for me to write out my story. I’ve always laid that burden on my mom, thinking it was more her story than my own. Her blog story took you from the day I was born until I was in high school, but I guess the rest of the story is mine to tell. I will do this much the same way I did for my mom's installments -- a small segment for a series of weeks, posted some time on Monday of each week.

Part One

I was seven years old when we moved away from Philadelphia and back to Minnesota where I had been born. We relocated because both of my parents families lived in Minneapolis and dad was able to get his sales territory relocated to the Midwest. At that point, the surgeons at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia informed my parents that there was nothing more that they could do for me.

About three months after moving back to Minnesota, I turned 8 years old. I would be entering Third Grade the following Spring. I was happy, well-adjusted, and making friends. I loved school – especially reading and spelling. I see now, looking back, that after seven years of rigorous surgeries and doctor’s appointments that the Lord was giving me a much-needed reprieve. I was more than thrilled with the diagnosis that there were to be no more surgeries. Granted, I didn’t understand at eight years old the extent of my deformities, or the extent of cruelty in the world.

For three glorious years, all was as it should be in my perfect little world. That was, all until an ordinary visit to the dentist. It intrigues me how life-changing events turn on the most ordinary of moments. Moses tended sheep for forty years in the wilderness and one day, not unlike any of the others, he spies the burning bush. And so here I was, minding my own business as it were, and a simple trip to get my teeth cleaned ushered in a whole new phase of life – the most difficult phase I would ever encounter.

Psalm 23 talks about “the valley of the shadow of death.” As my mom opened the heavy glass door going into the dentist’s office, how was I ever to know it would usher me onto the path that ran straight through that valley? And how was I to know I would walk on it for the next ten years of my life?



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