I wasn’t supposed to survive; then I wasn’t supposed to be more than a “vegetable.” Then I wasn’t supposed to return to college…have a career…marry my high school girlfriend… Well, I did all of these things, and then much more.
However, this story is not about me; rather, it’s about our baby! She’s not a baby anymore in the true sense of the word, but Shawn Elyse Segal will always be our baby. Shawn is a wonderful woman—full of compassion, love, empathy, and beauty (thank God she looks like her mother).
Because this is a short story, rather than a book, there’s not enough room to write of all the wonderful, great deeds and accomplishments she’s done in her life! However, Sharon (my wife and mother to Shawn) and I are SO proud of her. Sure, Shawn’s very successful in her business (starting her own IT staffing company in LA), but more importantly she “gives of the heart”—helping to start a bikeathon to help raise money to fund a cure (God willing) for cancer, active in her community trying to help others, supporting others in her family emotionally by doing anything needed when they are in crisis.
I said that she was our “miracle baby”. True, I was not supposed to survive—being shot in the head many years ago in that sad eventful day near midnight in February. I always “allow myself” to pity myself on that day only… thinking, “what if.” Well, on that day, the anniversary of my walking into that convenience store while it was being robbed (February 17), this year (and for the rest of my life) I’ll only be thinking of glorious things as I’ll be walking my beautiful, special daughter down the aisle about to be married!
Shawn and her fiancé had planned their wedding weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday weekend in January as this was a “holiday” weekend and they wanted all of their guests to be able to “spend that Sunday night” celebrating at their wedding and not having to worry about getting up for work the following Monday. They “booked” everything for that January Sunday. They were so excited when even the beautiful wedding venue was available! However, their happy smiles turned into nervous frowns as they discovered that “The Women’s March” [with 750,000 marchers the first year] was marching through the streets that Sunday night RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR HOTEL on the day of their wedding! They were frantic! What would they do…what could they do? Their guests…the wedding party…would not be able to get to the wedding venue! Luckily all the vendors and most of their guests (even the “beautiful venue”) could reschedule for Sunday, February 17, the next holiday weekend (Presidents’ Day Weekend).
I’m very excited to be celebrating on the 17th of February as opposed to “feeling sorry for myself” on that day! Oh, one more thing: soon after the wedding date was moved to February the “Women’s March” date was changed! I guess “someone from the heavens” wanted us to use that February date instead! On that date, I’ll always be smiling as I look to the heavens thanking God!
Shot in the head and left for dead during a convenience store robbery, Michael Jordan Segal defied all odds by first surviving and then returning to college at the University of Texas at Austin. Needing to learn to walk and talk again, Segal went on to earn two degrees with honors, marry his high school sweetheart, Sharon (who was with him the night he was shot) and became a father to their daughter, Shawn. The thieves eliminated Mike’s ability to pursue his life-long dream to become a surgeon; however, they could not eliminate his desire to help people. He is a social worker and now he will be devoting much of his time helping families/patients of trauma (as well as other illnesses/injuries) at a local trauma hospital in Houston receive emotional support. Mike’s goal, when appropriate, “is to try to put a smile on families/patients’ faces.” He also is a popular inspirational speaker sharing his recipe for recovery, happiness, and success (as well as an author with many of his stories appearing in various CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books, working on his autobiography which will be entitled A SHOT OF INSPIRATION, as well as having a CD of 12 of his short stories over soothing music entitle POSSIBLE). For more information, please visit www.InspirationByMike.com.