Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reader's Definition of Happiness

This morning my family made me breakfast in bed for my birthday. While I was eating, I checked my email on my cell phone, and started crying when I read the story below. Many thanks to the reader who shared... 

"I just read your book, 'Sweet Misfortune', cover to cover tonight. I am tempted to say that Happiness is having the time and leisure to sit and read a good book cover to cover. This couldn't be more true to me because I am the parent whose only leisure time is the middle of the night hours when I should be sleeping. However, as trite as this sounds, my Happiness is the sound of a baby screaming from the nursery down the hall. But not just because of motherly lovey Happiness. When I was 14 weeks pregnant with twins my water ruptured on Twin B. I was told to end the pregnancy as I would be losing both babies due to the trauma. I couldn't end the pregnancy and the doctors sent me home to miscarry. I didn't. But I did spend the ensuing 20 weeks being told by highly regarded maternal-fetal specialists that even though I didn't miscarry I would be lucky if we were able to get to an acceptable term to possibly deliver Baby A safely. Baby B was given 0% chance of survival due to the lack of fluid from the rupture. The baby would not develop lungs or other vital organs. I was told I would experience the happiest day of my life delivering one baby coinciding with the worst day of my life with one baby dying. Week after week we were being prepared for the worst. 6 weeks before my due date, on Aug 23,2009 at 8:59p Twin A, my son Henry, was born. He was tiny, only 3 lb 7 oz. My husband and I were elated to meet him. He let out a big roar to let us know he was there and he was quickly rushed away to the NICU. At 9:01p Baby B, my daughter Mary Alice, was born. She was 1 lb 10oz. The exact definition of Happiness to my husband and I is the cry that came from that tiny baby. That precise moment is the Happiest moment of my life. For a baby that wasn't supposed to develop lungs she sure had something to prove. 3 months of NICU care and she was finally released home to join her brother and mom & dad. That was the 2nd Happiest moment of my life.

I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have gone through what we did...I am a better mother for it.  I think I may be one of the only women I know who still marvels at the screaming coming from their baby after almost a year of hearing it. To me, its reliving the Happiest sound I've ever heard.
We aren't religious people but we have experienced a medical miracle. There is no explanation for her survival. To that point, after all the tests were done and facts gathered, my son, my daughter, and I should not have survived this pregnancy at all. The condition, Cornual Ectopic Pregnancy, usually ends with catastrophic results to the mother and child. A surviving Cornual Ectopic is so rare that we are being written about. We are blessed. And I more so for being able to relive my Happiness every day :)

Thank you for such a wonderful novel. It has inspired me to make it a point to be Happy in the middle of my unbelievably long harried days.

[Name Withheld]"


The Armitage Family said...

Wow. I am speechless with this letter. This miracle is so inspiring! You are so gifted to be able to put a piece of your work out there and evoke this kind of reflection from your readers. I too am grateful for this anonymous reader, sharing her two miracles.

Jennifer said...

What a touching story. Thank you to your reader who posted it. Her story will remind all of us of happiness in miracles. I was post #3 but my happiness came when my preordered book arrived this past Monday! I started reading it, had several other busy things to do this week, but just finished reading it from my wonderful porch on a beautiful morning to just sit and read away. Thank you for a wonderful story of Sweet Misfortune and of course, will look forward to the next!

bri04 said...

My name is Brianna, I just got done reading "sweet misfortune" and let me tell you that is by far the best book I have read. It inspired me to be grateful for what I have present and stop claiming for the past. Happiness in my words would be waking up each and every morning and thanking god for my life getting to see my 2 kids smile even when they are a pain I can't help but to watch them and smile. And my husband im happy to have a husband that served his country and nomatter what I nor anybody can change the good he did. Happiness is having the people you love in your life even if God decides to call them hope be thankful for having the chance to know that person. Happiness never goes away maybe sometimes physically but never emotionally it will always be inside.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Milne
My name is Erdemir I am in Mrs.Kimballs class second period at A E Wright Middle School. I loved The Paper bag christmas, it was a delightful story about christmas. The characters in the story were just so nice and they had warm hearts that were fun. I Think you wrote this book to share what christmas is really about. Receiving presents is fun and all but giving to people and seeing the smiles on their face when they open it is just one of the greatest present of them all. It is the most important factor in my book. I just absolutely love that Mo and his brother give the children at the hospital a friend. I think the lesson a this book a good read. The first time we read this book I thought it would be boring but after it was finished I liked the book. Dr.Ringle really helped these kids by making Aaron and Mo hang out with them. Thank you for writing this book it was a very good read.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Liam. I am in seventh grade and I am 13 years old. I like to play soccer, baseball, and basketball. I also enjoy to read, including action, adventure, comedies, dramas, and much more.
I enjoyed your book Paper Bag Christmas very much. It had the miracle feel to it, and was also very realistic. You reinforced the true meaning of Christmas but also taught me the harsh the harsh me the harsh disappointments of life. When me and my class mates read this this book a lot of us cried; it was so moving. You took us on an emotional roller coster filled with tears of sadness, happiness, and laughter.
I loved all of the characters in the book. Yes including the snobby nurse Whible. In my class room I was the person who read the quotes of Madhu. Even my teacher laughed at how funny my fake Indian accent was. Seeing what the Elves (Mo and Aren) did, inspire me to one day volunteer for a cause that is greater than myself.
This book made me have a better attitude towards my own holiday. Again, I very much enjoyed your book Paper Bag Christmas. I will give this book to any one who takes live for granted and is not grate full for the things they have. In fact looking back before I read this book, that person was me.