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March 3, 2004 - "A Wonderful Birthday" by Michael Segal

 

 

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"The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all the hurt." ~Max Lerner




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Mike is one of the most inspiring, strong people I know. His story today is proof that things happen for a reason and the many miracles throughout his life show that God has great plans for him. Happy early Birthday, Mike!



"A Wonderful Birthday"
by Michael Jordan Segal, MSW


One turns 42 years of age only once in a lifetime. One might also say that he, or she, is "touched by an angel" only on rare occasions.

Many people believe that I must have been touched by angels when I survived a "near fatal" brain injury when I was shot in the head as an innocent witness to a convenience store robbery. I beat the odds. Sure I have limitations, but I am alive!

Since that eventful evening, I returned to college, married my high school sweetheart, had a beautiful daughter with my wife, and I celebrated 22 additional birthdays. Many of these "birthday celebrations" were with a wonderful man, Tom Williams, who significantly helped me in my attempt to overcome my many challenges after I was injured.

Tom was an executive and world-class trainer for the Houston Oilers of the National Football League. In the off season he operated a Kolache Shop, a bakery of oven baked meats and sweets. Approximately 200 yards from his shop Tom would train his athletes, many of whom were professionals.

After I was hurt, I met Tom for "therapy" at the Kolache Shop. Tom, the eternal optimist, told my family that he could definitely help me -- and help me he did. It was a slow, tedious, and painful process, but with Tom's help I was making progress.

One day, in the beginning of our relationship, Tom showed me his driver's license. Remarkably, we had the same birthday. Every April 11, since then, we would celebrate our birthdays with chocolate cake, which was the favorite for both of us.

Unfortunately, Tom passed away in 1995; however, I still "celebrate" our birthdays every April 11. This year on our birthday I thought about Tom and his family in the morning, before heading out for a wonderful day filled with all of the great things I love to do.

At dinner at my parents' home I blew out the candles on the birthday cake that my wife had baked (chocolate of course). All I could think of was that it had been the perfect end to my special birthday, as most of my family had joined me for dinner and for cake. At the dinner, I tried on my new suits that I had received for my birthday in order to get their opinions.

However, it was getting late and we decided that we needed to go home. We said good night to the rest of the family, thanked them, and headed toward my car. Shawn, our daughter, jumped into the back seat on the right side of the car. Sharon, my wife, had the new suits as she approached the car.

"Mom, put the suits here," Shawn said as she scooted to the left side of the back seat, leaving room for the suits on the right side. I made sure everyone was "buckled in" and then proceeded to drive away from my parent's home. As my car stopped at a red light, half a mile away from our home, I was thinking how nice the day had been. As the light turned green, I proceeded to go. "BANG," I felt and heard a very loud and clamorous sound. "What in the world?" I thought to myself as I tried very hard to regain control of the erratic motion of my car. My Nissan went up on the curb of the nearby fast food restaurant with Sharon screaming, "BRAKE, BRAKE!!"

Even though my foot was pressing and shoving on the brake, the car was not slowing down -- that is, until it was stopped as a result of hitting a thick group of bushes in the parking lot of the restaurant. Thank God for those bushes.

I checked on my wife and daughter and was happy to see that both were relatively okay aside from some minor aches and pains. I went to the other car, the one driven by the woman who had hit my car on the right rear wheel. After checking on her, I was told by one of the many wrecker drivers who swarmed to the accident that a possible reason for my brakes failing was that they had frozen or been cut because of the problem with my rear suspension when the woman's car hit mine. However, I did not care. All I could think of was how thankful I was that everyone was safe.

Just then I realized, "What if Shawn had not scooted over in my car to make room for my suits? She would have been on the right-rear side of the car and the first one to directly feel the impact of the collision of the woman's Toyota hitting my Nissan. Shawn could have been seriously injured."

As we were waiting for the wrecker to hoist my car, I looked toward the heavens and mouthed, "Thank you Tom; Happy Birthday to you, too."

I thought, "Next year for my birthday cake, instead of chocolate, I believe I'll request "Angel Food Cake." As I was thinking of that, I believe I could hear Tom chuckling in the heavens.



2003 Michael Segal; all rights reserved.    
msegalhope@aol.com


Michael Jordan Segal is a social worker at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, an author, and well sought after inspirational/motivational speaker. His "miraculous comeback" story has been featured on national television and magazines. Mike's story, "My Miraculous Family," was first published in "Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul." Since then, he's had many of his stories published in various anthologies, newsletters, and magazines. Mike lives in Houston with his wife (who was his high school sweetheart), Sharon, and their daughter, Shawn. He is available for public speaking engagements. For more information please visit www.2theheart.com/mikeSegal
or call Sterling International Speakers Bureau, toll free in the USA/Canada, at 877-226-1003



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The Letter Box:



Dear Susan and the 2TheHeart writers, I just got my copies of the new 2TheHeart book. I have read many of the stories before, as I have been a loyal member of 2theheart for 3 years. But seeing them put together in this beautiful book made each one fresh and so wonderfully moving. This book is full of miracles and I am so thankful to have it. I plan to give my other 2 copies to friends and will buy more to use as gifts, as I know they will be such a blessing to whoever reads them. I just wanted to take a moment to thank each of the writers and you, for your hard work. It's a beautiful book! God bless, Sandy



What a wonderful story of love and what a wonderful woman...may she reach a hundred or more and still have the same zest for life....God bless and keep all with HIS angels all round today and always. Hugs Leona a fan of editor@2theheart forever and Lissa Lee keep writing and sharing with us..



Loved Lissa's story! She is such an awesome writer and a true inspiration to me. I met her online...well, a line from God. Several years ago she received a prayer request from me and she wasn't even on the Prayer line list! What were the odds of the zillons of emails that pass through cyber space every second, that my one urgent prayer request would mistakenly be routed right to her inbox? We've been wonderful sisters since that night. I love her honesty and no one walks the walk better or more proudly than she does. I hope this is just the first of her many stories that we'll read on 2theheart!

Sue Henley



Dear Lissa,
I loved your story and as a granny myself, it's good to see we aren't ever too old for a miracle! :-) Thank you, Lissa! Sincerely, Granny Nan


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