“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Eighteen years ago tomorrow a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse told me that Pearlsky would probably never leave the unit. She was one day old (Pearlsky, the nurse’s age is unknown).

Eighteen years ago tomorrow my father was undergoing emergency heart bypass surgery. Five bypasses to be exact.

Eighteen years ago tomorrow, I expected Pearlsky to be dead within a week.

Seventeen years ago I did not know if Pearlsky would ever see the inside of a school.

Fifteen years ago, I wondered if she would make it to her tenth birthday … or my fortieth.

Ten years ago, I wanted to know if Pearlsky would ever see sweet-sixteen, the same week as my fiftieth.

Five years ago, I wondered if I could go on. I started to realize Pearlsky probably would.

Two years ago, we both made it. Sweet sixteen and sour fifty.

Today Pearlsky is eighteen. She will make twenty, my dad may not see that.

Life is tough.

So is Pearlsky.

I hope I can continue to be.

Happy birthday, Pearlsky. This blog’s for you.

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