Thursday, July 17, 2014

That one night

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This is not my birthday; it is the anniversary of the day I was conceived.
We celebrate birthdays because in many cases, we do not know the exact day when our parents came together to create us.
This is not true for me.
Although I do not know the exact time of day, I know it was at night on July 17, after all the wedding vows were undertaken, and all the rituals of cake cutting and first kiss done.
At some point on this day all those years ago, my parents found themselves alone, and brought me into existence.
Until a few months prior to my mother’s death slightly more than a decade ago, I did not know any of this. She kept this a close kept secret partly because my father abandoned her the next morning, taking off to Washington DC with $400 in wedding gifts to straighten out his dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Navy.
He came back broke and with VD, so except for that first night after the wedding, they never made love.
While I knew a lot about my father from my uncles, how much of a scoundrel he was, a drunkard, a womanizer, a flirt and such, I learned much more over the last few years that gave credence to my mother’s secret tale, and evidence to how hurt she’d felt by it all, and why I was so special to her since I was the best thing that came out of a bad situation, and why she dedicated her life to keeping me safe and whole, and perhaps as much unlike my father as possible – although I think in this last she failed, since it is difficult to know what goes on in the mind of another person, even someone as close as a son.

So ironically, this day becomes not just my parents anniversary, but the anniversary of single shinning, hopeful moment in my mother’s life, perhaps the soul moment of her existence, when everything seemed to come together for her, lasting one night she would carry with her forever.

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