My Beginnings

Picture it: Erie, Pennsylvania, 1974. It’s April 30, and a young mother-to-be wakes up in the middle of the night and finds her nightgown wet. Her heart races – what could be going on? She calls her doctor.

“Doctor, I think my water broke!”

“Are you experiencing any pain?”

“No, no pain at all, isn’t that unusual?”

“Yes, it is. Calm down, and get to the hospital immediately.”

Pat and her husband, Carl, get into their car and drive to the St. Vincent Hospital ER. Pat got into a wheelchair when they arrived while Carl checked her in. When he came back to the examining room, the nurse had hooked her up to the ultrasound machine. Her doctor can see that there’s something wrong.

“We will have to induce your labor, and we may have to pull her out with forceps.”

The doctor gives Pat to induce her contractions, and a few hours later, he pulls out a 7-pound baby girl with forceps. Pat and Carl are relieved to have the ordeal over, but they’re concerned that their baby girl was born three weeks premature.

“Couldn’t that cause problems?” Pat asks the doctor.

“Yes, it could potentially,” he says. “We’ll have to keep Erica here for at least a few days to see if there are any health problems.”

That is the slightly exaggerated story about how my life began. I’ll tell you stories similar to that one, about the different battles I fought throughout my life and the victories I experienced when I accomplished different goals.

I’ll provide a few lessons and takeaways at the end of each story. I hope you’ll see a little bit of yourself through my experiences or maybe learn a few things that will help you fight your own battles and experience a few victories.