12/08/2014 02:52 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

If Only You'll Believe In Miracles, So Would I....


The bride wants children right away, and the groom is on the same page. That's how they feel about it. You get married, you have kids.

Why wait? Let's do it while we're young and strong.

She's delighted to get pregnant, but before long it's clear something isn't right. The baby is growing, but it isn't moving. Fearing the worst, she goes to see the doctor.

The news is even worse than she imagined. It isn't a baby. It's a tumor on the ovaries, a large one. A hell of a note, especially for a woman just 23 years old.

When she awakens after the operation, the surgeon gives her the news. The tumor was benign, so they got it all. So far, so good.

She's holding her breath. "Children?" she dares to ask.

"Well, you still have part of one ovary."

"Can I have children?"

"It'll be difficult," the surgeon replies, "but it's possible."

"I'll have them," she vows.

She's a Catholic, a true believer. She prays to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sure enough, she gets pregnant. The baby is due around Christmastime, maybe the end of the year.

"No," she tells her husband, "the baby will be born on December the eighth. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception."

In the Catholic faith, this is a holy day that honors the Blessed Mother. She wishes to thank Mary for answering her prayers.

Her husband, a casual Catholic, has more faith in the medical estimate.

"I think the doctor knows when the baby is due," he tells his wife.

"December eighth," she quietly insists.

On the morning of December the eighth she tells her husband he'd better take off from work, because this is the day.

He has to laugh. "You haven't had a single labor pain!"

"Today," she says, and he continues laughing, but he turns serious on the ride to the hospital where, a few hours later, the baby is born.

That baby was me, 59 years ago today. December 8th, 1955. And my mother would go on to have two more children.

Okay, now, the question is this: Did the power of prayer make me happen (against enormous odds) on the very day my mother said I would arrive?

In other words - was I a miracle?

I have a problem with that word, probably because I've been turning a buck all these years in the news racket, where skepticism inevitably seeps into your blood.

Sure, we're quick to trot out the word "miracle" for our feel-good stories. But we kick it around like a soccer ball and eventually, it loses its bounce.

Which is a shame, because I've had to live this long to step back, take a long breath and realize what should have been an obvious truth:

I certainly am a miracle. So are you, and so is everybody you've ever known.

I'm a little late, here, Mom, but belated thanks for all those prayers, all those years ago. Maybe I'm not the believer you are, but I do believe in your faith, and the strength that comes with it.

And I would hate to have missed out on this crazy, crazy ride.

Charlie Carillo is novelist and a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition." His website is