My baby came into the world through an incision. Cesarean. They wanted to try the suction. The forceps. I refused. He wasn’t moving. My baby.

Later, the doctor told me it wouldn’t have worked. We made the right choice. His birth. His birthday.

Soon it is my own birth day. I don’t know much about the story of my birth. My parents are long dead. Like most things about my infancy, there is no one to ask.

I remember the day my own mother turned 50. Our father was dead. Our stepfather was dying. My sisters and I took her to Pizza Hut. We laughed. We ate. We all drank the cheap wine even though most of us were not old enough.

On her final birthday, my mother wanted to go to the beach. She wanted ham sandwiches. We brought her there. One of those drive on beaches in Florida where she lived. She was dizzy and fell over on the sand. It was less than a month before she would die.

She was 19 years older than I am at my birthday. I was six years older than my son would be if I died at 69. I am a year and a half older than my father was when he died. My son is now five months younger than I was when my father died.

I make these calculations constantly. Buying time. Figuring out what is enough.

But there is never and will never be enough time. Other than love, it’s all that matters. Here begins my next fifty years. I am counting each hour, minute, second. The sand. The stars.




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