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Published:May 11th, 2007 06:31 EST
The Everyday Survivors We Know

The Everyday Survivors We Know

By Carolee Kaufold

There is a show on CBS called CBS Survivors, about two teams of eight people that go on a deserted island for thirty nine days and the best, smartest and strongest one that remains gets $1 million dollars. There is no way that even appeals to me. I wouldn't even survive the plane ride.

As I watched the rats, sneaks and sand in the bathing suites , I thought about my friends and family. I wondered who among them would do that? I doubt many would.

No one came to mind. That doesn't mean I don't know survivors. So I would like to tell you about a few. I will start with a man that was born in 1915 with polio; he was one of twelve children. His mother would take him down to the ocean everyday, a long train ride, and rub his legs in salt water. In the early 1900s going to school wasn't always possible. So he spent a lot of time staying by his mother's side and learning cooking, and sewing skills from his tailor father.

He never was book smart, but he was life smart. He knew what was honest and noble. As he grew up, he couldn't get many jobs because he couldn't read. He had to take jobs driving cabs, doing construction, even at one time he owned his own coffee shop. It was only opened for breakfast and lunch. He couldn't stand for a long time, so many of the jobs had to be abandoned. He sewed many of his daughters dresses, and he made the best meat loaf in Brooklyn. His wife was the one that had the steady job, but she loved him enough to let him find a job that would fit his skills. He made his life count. He would fall a lot, because one leg was thinner and weaker than the other. But he never wanted pity. He would not let anyone help him up. He was a fighter and a survivor. He was my father.

Now I want to tell you about a lady, that has touched my life like no one else has. I have only knew her a little over seven years. Mostly, it is a long distance relationship. She is a SURVIVOR in the best and biggest sense to the word. What started as a simple stomach ache on vacation became an unbearable pain in two hours. She was rushed to the hospital only to find out her colon was filled with cancer. She was operated on and there was so much cancer, she was given three months to live. She needed round the clock care, so her husband quit his job to take full time care of her.

He read, learned and finally did what any RN could do for his wife. When it was suggested she go in a Nursing Home, he would not hear of it. The cancer spread to other parts of her body. He learned more, and the doctors began to respect him so much, they allowed him in for procedures. Together, this couple proved the doctors wrong. Three months passed, and she was getting better. One year passed and she was still undergoing more tests and getting more cancer. My friend said, "No way is this getting me." Seven years have passed, the doctors are checking and double checking the files and charts to see why this women is still alive. Have they made a mistake? No, it is God's will. She is a bright shiny example to all of us that "Giving up" is not in her vocabulary. They are my friends Cheryl and Paul.

The last survivor I'll mention was almost never born. His mother was told when she was three months pregnant that she was having a miscarriage. To the doctors amazement that never happened. When he was about to be born, the doctor told the father that the wife and child were in grave danger and may both die. Distressed and hopeless, the father watched as a miracle happened. The child was born and the mother was fine. The child needed special attention for the first couple of hours, then everything was well. At eleven months old, the child was found gagging and turning blue, and ambulance was called and the EMT told the parents this child would never make it to the hospital. So they were going to take him to a facility that had an emergency room, but not a child care department.

As the parents walked into the ER, they could see the doctors and nurses working over the boy. They had arranged for another ambulance to take him to a fully equipped hospital, and had stabilize him. Again he surprise all the medical staff and pulled through. At seven years old, he was running a high fever and was unaware of his surroundings. At the hospital, the doctors were clueless. They had no idea what was wrong. For two weeks he laid in ICU, and they still could not figure out why this child was so sick. His mother stayed with him day and night and watched as the last rights were performed on him. The dad was called in the middle of the night to say good-bye. Again another miracle was performed. He is our youngest son Jonathan.

Why are there survivors? I think these people are lessons we all needed to be taught. We need to know that to survive we need to call on God for help. We cannot do it. We cannot even come close to the way God works. All the time these lives were threatened, a prayer was said, a wish was whispered, and hope was hoped. These three people are survivors. But so are we. We can and do things that others think are impossible. We have sat by a sick family member, we have encouraged and cheered on friends. We have told our folks, "Go get them". Absolutely nothing is impossible. We may fear things, and have reservations about doing something, but if we are very still and listen to God's voice, we can overcome it all.