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Celebrating A Miracle: Ronee' 's Christmas 2003

Last night, our church had their annual Christmas Cantata, and during the Cantata, my almost-eleven-year-old daughter, Ronee', sang "O Holy Night"; and I couldn't help but be moved to tears.

For Christmas Day has extra special meaning, not only for her, but for me, as well.

Ronee' is a Christmas Day Miracle: she wasn't supposed to survive her premature birth (she and her twin sister, Robyn, were supposed to be born in late March, but they came three months too early instead, announcing their arrival on December 25, 1992), but somehow, through God's Grace, she and her sister did; and she is still alive, nearly 11 years later. She also has triumphed over many odds in her young life, and Christmas Day three years ago was quite scary and memorable, to say the very least. She had suffered a devastating stroke that left her one side paralyzed, and she nearly died; but like many times before, she fought back and managed to overcome the worst effects of the stroke. Now, to look at her, you wouldn't think she ever had a stroke because she is walking and talking normally, and she looks like a normal little girl who is on the threshold of becoming a young lady.

Christmas this year will be especially sweet because it has been three whole years since that horrible time in her life; and it still amazes us how God has brought her back to near normalcy; and it is amazing that a child her age can survive such a devastating event. She doesn't remember much about the incident, thank goodness; but we do, and it is a time we would rather forget, but we cannot. She nearly died, and she was facing significant disability, but she fought her way back, and now she is once again, the laughing, ever-smiling young lady we have always loved and enjoyed. It doesn't seem possible that she has come as far as she has, and it is only by the Grace of God that she HAS.

Ronee' has been blessed many ways: she has a very keen mind and awareness about her, she is very intelligent for her age, and she has accepted her health problems in a way that amazes many people. She still has her bad days, but thankfully, those are becoming fewer and far between, and she is one who lives life to its very fullest; and she is not one to let her disabilities limit her. If anything, she is going to overcome her problems with the tenacity of a tiger, and she isn't one to take life sitting down. She is extremely active and inquisitive; one may go as far as calling her "precocious", which she IS. (Sometimes she is TOO precocious" for my liking! LOL) She is nearly always laughing or has a smile upon her face, and it is very rare when she is unhappy (but WILL let you know if she is!). It is amazing to watch her; her energy is insatiable, and at times, she wears ME out! At times I can't even begin to keep up with her!

God has also blessed Ronee' with a beautiful singing voice; and it is through her singing that she has touched many people. She loves music of all kinds: country, rap, rock and roll, gospel, bluegrass; and she can sing anything her young heart desires. She is at home singing anything from the latest rap hits by Missy Elliott or Queen Latifah to songs like "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Love Is The Foundation" by country legend, Loretta Lynn, and she just loves music PERIOD. She has sung at many fairs and festivals, and she has opened shows for many of her favorite country music stars. Now she is singing at church, and God is using her in a very powerful and rewarding way. Something is going to happen with her singing, and when it does, it is going to be something wonderful.

Like last night at church, as an example. When she sang "O Holy Night" last night, many people, including myself, were moved to tears, and it was a very beautiful moment, indeed. Many people don't know of all that my daughter has been through, and maybe it is better that they don't; but I do, and each time she gets up to sing, it never amazes me at how far she has come in both living her life or in her drive to become a singer. She isn't about to let disability or pain stop her, and she feels that if people like Stevie Wonder or Itzhak Perlman can make it in music (even with living with disability: Stevie Wonder is visually impaired, and Itzhak Perlman is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair or walks on crutches and leg braces because of polio he had as a child), then by God, she can, too!

Christmas will be a very joyous occasion at our house, and as we celebrate Christ's birth, we will also be celebrating Ronee' 's rebirth from certain death and uncertainty, and we will be giving God thanks for sparing her life and allowing her to live. She is a living (and walking) testimony that God can (and DOES) still perform miracles in people's lives today, and we are very blessed to have her in our lives! She is, very much indeed, an unforgettable Christmas Gift from God, and she has shown us the true meaning of Christmas, not only ON Christmas Day, but the whole year through! EVERY day is Christmas with our daughter, Ronee', around!
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