Threads run through the stories I write, they also run through my life. Some run for a lifetime, others briefly, and still others disappear and reappear and I have no idea where they were when I could not see them.
Recently, according to the calendar, I became a year older…
The day we pop into the world and draw upon unfiltered oxygen is a milestone. The morning I first breathed oxygen has added meaning for me because it followed my first experience with oxygen deprivation. The repercussions of that moment stayed with me for almost a dozen years.
When I came into the world on a day in May at 4:52am I was a month overdue, breech, and blue. Yes, blue. The umbilical cord had wrapped around my throat and cut off my air.
Since my father was Catholic, one of the nurses in the delivery room baptized me on the spot because I wasn’t expected to live. Soon after, a priest was brought in to make it more official. The prognosis was that I wouldn’t survive the remainder of the day.
Obviously, of course, I did.
I don’t know if there’s an explanation for my traumatic entry into the world, or whether it was related to the frequent beatings my mother suffered. I do know that within six months I was a healthy weight (and then some), but was anemic through elementary school and frequently sick.
One thing leads to another, I guess. The anemia meant some epic nosebleeds that were so frequent they became a normal part of my existence. To treat the anemia I was given a cherry flavored medicine, the smell of which has stayed with me to this day.
It didn’t smell exactly like cherries, though, but more like cherry in the extreme. I can sniff a handful of cherries and no memories are triggered. On the other hand, I encountered an air freshener in a facility once that smelled exactly like the medicine taken decades before and the memory stopped me in my tracks.
Before I was in my teens the medicine was stopped and the illnesses grew less frequent. Eventually, my health became excellent and despite my lung disease of present day I still am hyper and take frequent walks.
Anyway, just a memory associated with that day long ago. Thanks for letting me share.