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Mother Deborah C. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Caitlin, have I ever told you what happened to me before you were born?” my mom asked in a way that made me think she had quite a story to tell.

My sister was almost three and my dad was dealing with a half-crazy elderly neighbor who was trying to throw hot water on her. Just as he called the police to arrest the woman, an aneurysm in my mom’s brain caused her to collapse. She was eight months pregnant with me and both our lives were suddenly in danger. She was rushed to the hospital for brain surgery. My dad was pacing when the surgeon came out with a hard-to-read face and said, “She’s stable now, but things could change. As for the baby, there’s a 50-50 chance.” Though horrified by this news, my dad could only sit and wait while my mom recovered.

In her hospital bed, eating jello and disoriented from the day’s events, my mother was told she would not be able to have any strong pain medication because of the pregnancy. Without even trying to change the doctor’s mind, she gladly took the approved Tylenol, doing everything in her power to make sure I was okay.

Before this trauma, my mom had beautiful dark brown hair, but the surgeons had to shave half of it off. I don’t know how she dealt with that on top of everything else; when you are half bald, your confidence can plummet. She tells me today, that when she got home, she made scarves to wear around her head just like the ones she made for me when I cut my bangs off one holiday season.

I admire people who go through hard times and find a way not to be self-centered. Not once did my mom complain about her aneurysm, almost losing me, or having to be questioned by the police for two days because of that crazy neighbor. She is the bravest and strongest person I know. I only want to follow in her footsteps and become someone others will look up to and are proud of. My mom is always there for me with advice, love and loads of colorful scarves whenever I need them.

When I was born, she had an enormous smile on her face and said with tears in her eyes, “Look, she has Elizabeth Taylor eyes!” I believe that my mom’s good will, persistence, and her consumption of special protein egg frappes (to help give me the nutrients I needed) saved my life. Growing up with someone as special as my mom has shaped who I am. I have picked up many of her traits, including her confidence even when it seems like I shouldn’t have any, as well as the ability to care for others, and push myself when all seems hopeless. My mother is my hero and role model. As Elizabeth Taylor would say, she is “a survivor - a living example of what people can go through and survive.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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