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COLUMNS

Outtakes: Wee Li'l Mia's not so 'Wee' anymore

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent

Part 1 of 2

If you recall our youngest granddaughter, Mia, she of whom I've dubbed “Wee Li'l Mia” in previous columns, you may have wondered what ever happened to her. It's been many moons since I've updated you so, to begin, she's not so “wee” anymore.

Frank Weaver Jr.

To give you some background, when she was born she was given way less than a 10 percent chance of surviving. Our daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Bobby, had her air-lifted to C. S. Mott Children's Hospital, part of the huge University of Michigan Hospital complex in Ann Arbor. So bleak was Mia's hope for surviving that, to be with her during an emergency, Wendy and Bobby, along with their three other daughters, Nina, AnnaMay and Ella, lived together in one room on campus at the nearby Ronald McDonald House and attended Sunday church services there for almost a year.

Always displaying the epitome of fortitude, regardless of how bleak the situation looked, Wendy and Bobby, along with their eldest daughter, Nina, grocery shopped, cooked meals, ate and cleaned the dishes, slept, showered and laundered their clothes. Whenever Mia's condition deteriorated, which at first was almost daily, they were on a 24/7 schedule to rush to their sick daughter's hospital bedside the moment they were called.

Some nights Bobby responded and left Wendy with the children and vice-versa. Other times they both responded with Nina watching over the two youngest girls. And often all five of them fell asleep in the hospital's waiting room just outside Mia's room.

Each time, with the help of many prayers, Mia rallied. And each time she did, the nurses marveled and soon became referring to her as “the Miracle Baby.” As she continued to defy the odds, her “Rallying Reputation” grew. Soon it reached other floors. One time I was at the cafeteria waiting in line to be checked out when the nurse in front of me was talking to the cashier about “the Miracle Baby.” My pride must've been on display as I tapped the nurse on the shoulder and let her know that “Miracle Baby” was none other than my granddaughter.

During that unforgettable year, among other medical problems Mia went through were two heart attacks, a stroke, stomach surgery, three open heart surgeries, leg surgery and so many other medic procedures requiring the skilled medical use of a scalpel that I've lost track. Peggy and I have lived on pins and needles during those days, hoping and praying that we never received a phone call informing us that our granddaughter's life was nearing an end or, worse yet, had already ended.

Over the years we've bonded, Mia and I. Oh my, how we've bonded. Whenever she calls it's no longer a conversation with Peggy, first, and then me. No. It's, “Hi Grandma. How are you? Let me talk to Grandpa, please.”

She loves to play games, especially cards, with Play-Doh, coloring and also with helping Peggy in the kitchen. Whenever she'd do something, such as handing me the newspaper, I'd reward her with two brand new shiny pennies. Once, when she gave them back, I asked what the problem was.

“These are too dirty, Grandpa,” she reluctantly informed me. “All the other pennies in my piggy bank are brand new and shiny. Do you have two new shiny ones?”

Another time, after she had given me a cup of coffee, I told her the coffee she just made me was much better than Grandma's. With Peggy standing nearby, I may have been risking a big argument. But Mia's smile went from ear to ear. Her eyes sparkled clearly and brightly and her entire face lit up like a Christmas tree bulb. And so did Peggy's.

Now, in less than a month, that “Miracle Baby” will turn ten. And to think there was a time when none of us ever thought she'd make it through that first day.

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com