Happy happy birthday,Laurelin!

On May 10th 1980 I was  born in a city in Broome county,NY. Four months later I moved to the foothills of the smokey mountains, TN.  We never had a phone,plumbing,or electricity, but I was happy.

On May 10th 1987 after my parents had been divorced 5 years, my father bought me my 1st  bike. It  had pink streamers.

On May 10th 1989, my mother bought me a mountain  bike. I loved the freedom.

On May 10th, 1994, there was a solar eclipse, and I saw a bald eagle.

On May 10th, 1997, I was driving a car and for years beginning to think there was something really wrong with my fingers because I felt nerve pain.

On May 10th, 1998, I was diagnosed with MS.

The next few birthdays I don’t remember as I began self medicating in denial of my illness.

On May 10th, 2001, I turned 21, and could finally drink legally and was all ready an alcoholic due to my denial of MS.

On May 10th, 2003, I was in the worst most abusive relationship ever and realized i needed to leave my peoples places and things in Cortland county.

On May 10th, 2004, I was living back in Broome County in the town I was born in. Still self medicating and still in denial.

On May 10th, 2007, I began treatment for alcoholism and addiction and realized I had been self medicating and in denial of my illness and not been treating it for the past decade.

On May 10th, 2008, I spent my first birthday with my now husband. He bought me a beautiful emerald ring. It was the first gift I’d received from a man in over a decade.

My next few birthdays were absolutely wonderful.

On May 10th, 2010, I was pregnant with my daughter, and

On May 10th 2011, I was beginning to feel MS flare ups.

On May 10th, 2012, I was walker and wheelchair bound and dependent on my husband and mother for so much.

On May 10th, 2015, I had accepted my MS and become more positive in my life and realized my birthdays were a blessing and not a curse.

On May 10th, 2016, I am so grateful to be alive and to have made it another year and I know that every year is a blessing as I hope all of your years are. We never know how many birthdays we will get, so treasure them all.

Peace and love,

L. O’Brien

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