Sunday, January 18, 2015
I have stayed awake tonight in order to witness the clock roll over to midnight and to feel myself BECOME fifty-three-years old. But, one does not just “become” fifty-three. One travels to fifty-three, journeys to fifty-three, survives to fifty-three, lives to fifty-three. I was born on January 18, 1962. On that day Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy were still alive, man had yet to walk on the moon, MLK was in the midst of heralding in the Civil Rights movement, Coca-Cola contained real corn syrup, The Twist by Chubby Checker was the number one Billboard song, a gallon of gasoline was twenty-five cents, Johnny Carson had yet to host his first tonight show to the introduction of “Heeeeeere’s Johnny!”, and the actor Jim Carrey was only one day old.
On January 18, 1962 I was a newborn baby, not even self-aware, so I didn’t have any notion that Mommy was a pretty, blue-eyed nineteen-year-old with a Southern drawl or that Daddy had black hair and soft brown eyes. I didn’t know that in less than four years I would become a big sister or that Dad would lie to me about my dog, Tippy, running away (in reality Tippy died), or that my favorite song at the age of six would be “Harper Valley PTA”. I didn’t know that an ocean’s waves could feel like fairy kisses on my ankles or that liver and onions tasted like wet slimy socks. I didn’t know that I would be allowed exactly fifty-one years, seven months, and twenty-seven days with Dad. I didn’t know that at age fifty-three I would ache to hug him just one more time.
I didn’t know that I would one day give birth to three human beings who would change my life and the way I viewed all life forever, or that I would fall hopelessly in love with those three new people who had miraculously come from my body. I didn’t know that spinning in circles until I became dizzy was going to be so much fun or that I would one day be able to feel the music of AC/DC down to the very roots of my teeth. I didn’t know that Southern Comfort could make a person throw up so much or that an Almond Joy candy bar could melt in the mouth like a morsel of heaven. I didn’t know that a single glance at a rainbow would one day take my breathe away.
I didn’t know that at age thirty-eight I would come down with an autoimmune disease that would alter my entire life and make me aware, for the first time, of the fragility of the physical body in which I was encased. I didn't know how much physical pain would one day wear on me. I didn't know I would have my heart broken so many times and that love sometimes hurts so much that you don't think you'll ever heal. I didn't know that it would take forty-five years to find a man that could offer me comfort, love, contentment, and the freedom to be who I was to become.
Fifty-three years ago today I wasn’t aware of anything. I was just a sleeping blank slate dozing in a plastic bassinet in the nursery of a hospital in Portland, Oregon, while nearby my mother fought for her life. I didn’t yet know how much I would be loved, how much I would love, or how many joys and sorrows accompany the mere act of living. I also didn't know how love so often balances out those sorrows. I have persevered, lived, and thrived.
Bring on the next fifty-three years. I’m ready.
Posted by Liti