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Happy 15th Birthday, Mary & Elizabeth!


On this day, 15 years ago, I got to witness a miracle. After being told for several months that our daughters would probably not be born alive, Eileen and I welcomed Mary and Elizabeth Zimak into the world. Although they weren’t due for another 3 months, the doctors felt that delivering them prematurely would give them the best chance for survival. They were right. Today, the girls celebrate their 15th birthday and are completely healthy!

Sometimes I forget the slim odds as the girls were afflicted with Twin-to-Twin transfusion syndrome (a very serious condition that affects identical twins), how Mary only weighed 1.5 pounds when she was born, how Elizabeth was born with congestive heart failure and how they both faced numerous medical issues related to their prematurity. On this day each year, however, I don’t forget. I remember all of the negative comments made by the doctors. I remember how the initial diagnosis shattered the joy of our first pregnancy. I also remember the prayers of many people and the peace that Eileen and I felt in the midst of a full blown crisis.

This Sunday’s Mass Readings feature the story of Bartimaeus the blind beggar. When he called out to Jesus, he was told by the crowd to be silent, but he ignored them. Instead, this desperate man called out again and was healed by the Lord. Two thousand years later, we still encounter many people who will tell us that our faith is unrealistic and that God can’t perform miracles. They’re wrong. He can AND DOES still perform miracles and I have two of them living in my house!

Happy Birthday, Mary and Elizabeth Zimak. Mom and I are so proud of the great young ladies you’ve become. Every person who has ever met you have told us how “sweet” you both are. I always believed that you would help many people if you were allowed to live and you’ve done just that. By being so kind to everyone, you’re imitating Jesus and that’s exactly what we’re all supposed to do. Thank you for bringing so much happiness to Mom and I.


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