I’m Thinking About A Miracle on My Birthday

So yeah. It’s my birthday today. But ever since a certain soul slipped into the world five years ago yesterday, I’m usually thinking about her this time of year.

Some of you may remember one of my very best friends, Karen, who used to grace the Moms Without Blogs space fairly regularly. That was when I had more energy and I would bug my mom without blogs friends to use this space for their creative musings.  Now, I can barely organize myself to keep on a regular writing schedule so I’ve given up on trying to coerce my friends. But they know they are always welcome.

So Karen’s back. For today at least.

You see, Karen’s lived the kind of story that we all hear about and think, “Oh my God, I can’t imagine….” Five years ago yesterday, Karen gave birth to her third baby girl, Penni, who, for all intensive purposes, was not supposed to live.   Life support kept her alive for the first 8 days until they started weaning her off to see if she could breathe on her own and undergo the surgery she needed to save her life.  But when Penni started going downhill with the initial weaning, Karen and her husband, Dave, had to make the most heart-wrenching decision a parent can make….let her go or put her back on life support and she if she could survive the surgery on life support. And the prognosis of the latter was very dire.  If she did survive the surgery, the chance of brain damage was very high.

No doctors or statistics or rational thought told them to put her back on life support.

But something told Karen not to let her go.

I have no idea what it was and I’m not sure Karen does either. Faith? Fear of regret? Hope? Or just the pure pain of the thought of losing her baby girl….? Who knows?

But whatever gave Karen the strength to fight against the odds must have been instilled in Penni too.

Because yesterday, Penni turned five.

The journey has not been the easiest one and Karen has made many sacrifices to walk this path with her daughter. But when you get to wake up every morning and see your own personal living miracle? Well, I think Karen would say that this journey has been one of the most rewarding ones of her life.

So in honor of Penni, Karen’s husband, Dave, slaved over this awesome celebratory birthday video that well, made me cry. A lot.  And Karen and Dave and I wanted to share it because it’s just really cool to see living proof of a miracle.

Happy 5th Birthday Penni!!!


If you want to read Penni’s story, you can start here. Karen wrote an amazing 3-part series two years ago.  The first part will most likely suck you in so here is Part Two and here is Part Three.

Have a miraculous kind of day!

14 Responses to “I’m Thinking About A Miracle on My Birthday”

  1. Ann's Rants says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate.

    Thank you Leane, Penni, and Karen.

  2. Catherine says:

    Pennie is beautiful and so are you. Happy Birthday Lee.

  3. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Another angel to add to my prayer list!

    Your sweet to honor her on your birthday!

  4. Deb Rox says:

    Miracles! Wonderful! Happy Birthday Lee, and Happy Birthday Penni! My younger son’s birthday is Thursday, and I’ve noticed that some pretty amazing people seem to have birthdays in the November teens. Celebrating with you!

  5. Happy Birthday, my friend. I’m so glad you were born.

    And Happy Birthday to Miracle Penni. I love me a miracle story and I love that this one coincides with your special day.


  6. Alexandra says:

    Oh, miracles are wonderful.

    WOnderful, because they are so rare.

    Thank you for this story.

  7. Jo says:

    Happy birthday to you, Penni and Penni’s mama and daddy!

  8. Jessica says:

    Incredible video. Happy Day and many more to you both.

    Miracles really do happen. Thank you for the much needed reminder.

  9. Ash says:

    You know I’m a big fan of Dave’s work – and his photography ain’t bad either (ba-da-ba!)

    Much love and congratulations to Karen and Dave, may Penni continue to be blessed and have the happiest birthdays ever.

    I’m with Deb Rox – I have so many wonderful people who touch my life with Nov b-days from the 14 – 25 – I count you as one of the most cherished. Happy Birthday Lee!

  10. vodkamom says:

    I have been reminded of the miracles often lately. I know in my heart that they happen every single day- and i thank you for this beautiful reminder that these hopes and prayers are often answered.

    and happy birthday, my friend. Happy birthday indeed.

  11. Amy says:

    What an awesome video celebrating adorable Penni. I love it!

    Her story is a miracle and a true celebration. Her smile just melts me.

    Happy birthday to you both!

  12. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing this tribute to Penni on YOUR special day, Lee!

    And thanks everyone for the b-day wishes for Penni. We are truly blessed and still have no idea why we are the lucky ones. We won the lottery of life with this little one! 🙂

    Happy birthday Lee and thanks for your ever-present support and love of our little girl from the beginning.
    Love you.

  13. Happy belated birthday my friend! And congratulations to Karen and Penni for overcoming some incredible odds. With that kind of luck, Penni’s gotta come to Vegas on her 21st. Oh wait. Maybe not. She’ll bankrupt the place. 🙂

  14. Michelle says:

    Happy birthday Lee!

    Happy birthday Penni! Thanks for sharing her story. What a miracle. Headed over to read now.

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