I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"The Star"

Blogging Friends.... I hereby behold.... My first fictional story of 2014!! {Is it just me, or does this year look futuristic somehow? 2014. Just the sound of it feels as though we ought to be living like The Jetson's did!! And you know what keeps rolling through my crazy head? Where is Rosie the Robot to serve us?} Wow, my first fictional story of 2014!! Which I spent the entire New Year's holiday working on!! This is exciting!!

"Creating beautiful mosaic artwork" with the broken, shattered pieces of my dream to be a published author....

I was born with a rare, life-threatening birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Loosely translated? I was born with a hole in my diaphragm. Approximately 1,600 babies are born each year with C.D.H. Plus. One out of every 2,500 live births are affected. Approximately 50% of babies born with this condition don't survive. They pass away due to complications. And an alarming sum of these babies are given less than a 50% chance by doctors. Our experience did not seem nearly as dramatic as most. It was right-sided C.D.H. {I think!!} my liver was "tipped up", {Mom's words!!} and, as doctors were unsure as to what ailed me, a lung collapsed, plus my heart became enlarged. That is it!! Dr. C. cut me open, repaired my C.D.H., re-inflated the lung, somehow shrunk that heart, and I have been healthy ever since!! However. I understand that so many other children--and adults!!--are not nearly as lucky. This story is about a character who--like me--was born with C.D.H. . I dedicate it to every single one of my precious Kindred Spirit survivors.... Young or "old"!! Thrive on.

Disclaimer. A dear C.D.H. Mama and Blogging Friend, Terri, commented on here today {1-5-14} with an incredibly valid point. She wrote this. I think that Esther's doctor should be thrilled with her using her "good" lung to sing. It means that her functioning lungs works as good as both of our healthy lungs work together. Honestly? I never thought about that!! And Terri is absolutely correct!! Because I torment myself as a writer, I have already decided that should this story ever be rewritten, I'll create teachers as Esther's doubters rather than doctors!! Sometimes. Being a writer is humbling....

"The Star"

Everyone--young or old--has talents and abilities. Certain things that they can do. For talents and abilities make a person special. It can be writing stories. Or bringing to life characters as an actor. It can be painting pictures. Everyone--young or old--has talents and abilities. Esther, a red-haired green-eyed little girl, was no different. At just seven years old, one of her talents and abilities happens to be singing. Everybody who knows Esther {Family, friends, classmates, teachers} feel one way about her. She has the most beautiful voice.
 
But Esther's little life did not start out very well. She was born with only half of her right diaphragm, a muscle which helps you breathe. Now. Every child born with this birth defect is as unique as a Zebra's stripe pattern. Some babies are born with holes in their diaphragms that doctors stitch up like your favorite teddy bear who lost his arm. But Esther needed a soft patch to help her breathe. Now. When babies are born with holes in their diaphragms, certain body parts have moved up to the chest where they do not belong. Sometimes it is only one. Like the liver. In Esther's case? Every one of her body parts had all moved up to the chest. As resulted, Esther only has one working lung and her heart became enlarged, or bigger. Right after being born, she fought hard like some brave war soldier. Esther's skinny little body was connected to a machine. It would help save her life. Doctors cut open Esther's tummy. They moved her body parts back to where they belong and shrunk the heart. She would need oxygen for one year. This helped Esther breathe. She would also need feeding tubes for three years. This gave Esther food to grow strong and healthy. Now, she does not need oxygen or feeding tubes at all!! A meaning of the name Esther happens to be "victorious". And she is just that. Victorious!!

Esther loves to sing. Every chance she gets {Music class songs, Christmas carols, silly tunes that were made up} she sings!! In fact. People who have not heard anything about Esther being born with only half of her right diaphragm plus one working lung would never even know!! Because she is an amazingly healthy little girl, happy and confident. {Despite having asthma.} For Esther has a "golden voice". That is what Ephrom, her music teacher, says!! He knows all about Esther's medical past. But Ephrom sees that she has a talent and an ability. So he decided to cast Esther in his school play The Little Mermaid!! As Ariel!! Yes, Esther was cast the star character, with lines, songs and high notes to sing!!
This decision upset some people. Like Esther's doctors who did not think that her patched-up diaphragm and one healthy lung were strong enough to be cast the part of Ariel.
"What? Ephrom cast Esther as Ariel? What on earth was he thinking?" Dr. Campbell asked after an appointment with Esther, "Ephrom knows that she was only born with half a diaphragm. Which I repaired and have helped make stronger. Ephrom knows that singing high notes uses the diaphragm!!"

"What? Ephrom cast Esther as Ariel? Why would he do a thing like that?" Dr. Hanks asked after an appointment with Esther, "Ephrom knows that she only has one working lung. And asthma. I have given Esther exercises to work on for making her healthy lung stronger!! Ephrom knows that singing takes lots of lung power!!"

"What? Ephrom cast Esther as Ariel? Why?" Dr. Walters asked after an appointment with Esther, "Does he not know that Esther isn't healthy enough to perform the star character? What if she becomes short of breath or faints?"

But Ephrom believed in Esther. As did she. Esther learned all of Ariel's lines. And, alongside Ephrom, she practiced singing.

Soon it was the morning of May 4th, Esther's big day. Family and friends sat in their chairs to watch her performance. Esther's costume looked just like Ariel's. A purple shell bikini top. And green mermaid fins. Because Esther already had red hair, she did not wear a wig. And Esther's bare tummy--where everybody could see--proudly showed off her battle scars.

Then she sang. It sounded like an angel in Heaven had taken over Esther's voice. So beautiful!! Another meaning of the name Esther is "star". And she was just that. The star!!