November 8th, 2006.
Reflections of a One Year Old Adult Reborn on November 8th
I don’t remember my day of birth. I don’t remember anything of my first year of life, but I can imagine what it was like: I must have come into this wretched world on a sunny afternoon in November 1979. I must have emerged, frightened and speechless, from my loving mother’s womb, to confront a cold hospital room full of strange people wearing masks. A foreshadow to the world that I would meet outside. My caring father and three older siblings must have sat quietly in the waiting room hoping everything went okay.
I must have spent my first few days in the hospital sleeping, dreaming about the life I was destined lead. I wonder if it was a pleasant dream or if I was scared of what I had seen there. Doctors must have come in and out of the room, checking on me every hour, reassuring my family that I was a healthy new born baby. Nurses must have spent their time diapering me, changing me, feeding me and singing lullabies.
It must have felt terrible—I, who was destined never to shut up, to not be able to communicate any coherent word. I must have felt horrible in that hospital jumper, in that crib, people walking back and forth in that window, not being able to shout out, tell them how I felt, give them my piece of mind. My devoted siblings must have come in and out to see their living, breathing, baby brother, and felt so proud to be there at my birth. My adoring family would have been so happy to take me home, to care for me, to play with me, to watch me pick up my first toys.
I can imagine how hard it was—I, who was destined to serve in the military, to climb mountains, to walk through the gates of
I don’t remember my first birthday. They must have dressed me in a new jumper, sat me in front of a chocolate cake, lit a single candle and sung that maddening song. Ah me, it must have been the hardest year of my life.
I do remember my second birth; I remember everything about my first year of life. I came back into this beautiful world on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in November 2005. I emerged, frightened and speechless, from under the god-like Dr. Spetzler’s knife, to confront a cold hospital room full of strange people wearing masks. A foreshadow to the world that I knew existed outside. My caring parents and siblings, sat nerve-wrecked in the waiting room praying that everything went okay.
I spent my first few days in the hospital sleeping, dreaming about the life I had led and the life I would lead. They were not pleasant dreams, rather full of horrifying images, spirits and strange people. I met the Devil, Jesus, Fear, A long gray haired Native American woman in a glass box, a doctor in a clown suit, dead people, a kid made of straw wearing a green Robin Hood suit,
It felt terrible—I, who never could shut up, not able to communicate a coherent word. It felt horrible in that hospital gown, in that dreadful bed, people walking back and forth in that window, not being able to shout out, tell them how I felt, give them my piece of mind; cry for help. My devoted siblings came in and out to see their living, breathing, young brother, and felt so proud that I was alive. My adoring family and friends were so glad to take me home, to care for me, to play with me, to watch me try, unsuccessfully, to pick up loose change from the table.
It was the hardest thing in my life—I, who had gone through basic training in the military, who had climbed to the top of Whatchu Pichu in Peru, who strode through the gates of Columbia University—trying to stand for the first time, while my family cheered me on. While taking those first few strenuous steps, I remember my determination to reach that hospital chair, to walk those few steps, to stand upright. I made my friends so proud when I threw aside my walker, my cane, my disability, and climbed Metzada. I remember learning how to talk, to express, to tell anyone and everyone how I felt.
I don’t remember my first birthday, but I will remember this first birthday. I will dress myself in new clothing, I will sit in front of an angel food cake my brother will bake for me, I will light a single candle and I will close my eye and wish. Ah me, it must have been the hardest year of my life.
And you, out their, strange people wearing masks floating through this cold world, standing in glass boxes, watching the world from inside. I want to cry out to you “awake! Emerge from your self-inflicted womb, and began your destiny-less journey of life.” In life you must take risks in order to continue to live your life to its fullest potential. Never give up on your dreams, and never be scared to chase them. Hope can triumph over Fear and Love can overcome Destiny. The journey is yours; you choose how to live it. I chose mine.