Friday, June 1, 2007

I SOOOO Got Over It!

In 1961 medical advances were well...less advanced as they are today. I was inside my mom at that time, and actually the word "inside" was relevant. I was causing a bit of a problem for the woman before I was born by somehow finding a tiny hole that was in my mother's uterus and inching my way outside of her safety net - again SOMEHOW, the doctors found me, put me back where I was suppose to be, but told my mother in her 4th month of pregnancy that I probably wouldn't make it. She cried.

When I was delivered on November 22, 1961 - a full 4 weeks premature, I weighed much less than a healthy 8 month term baby, I was blue, and I didn't respond to the typical butt-tapping that went on back in the day. The doctor confirmed his initial belief, literally saying I "didn't make it", but not quite pronouncing me dead. A nurse alerted the attending physician to the fact that my eyes were open and I was seemingly following the movement of her finger with my tiny eyes - a quick scolding forewarned the nurse that it could very well be a reaction of the nervous system, and she was NOT to give my mother (again crying, praying) any hope.

I got over it.

I tell you that to tell you this: When the world looks blue, upside down, without hope, a little too small to make it, a little outside the safety zone DON'T give up, don't stop praying, don't stop hoping, don't stop testing the facts! A kid just might pull through under any and all circumstances - you just NEVER know. I didn't mention this, but it's true. The day I was born Mom went to the hospital on the advice of her own mother; grandma had 10 kids and a bit of experience with birthing babies. Mom argued a bit stating that the baby (me) wasn't due for another month, that her dizziness was simply from stepping up on a stool and coming down a bit too quickly - nevertheless, dutiful daughter that my mother is, she went - and before she made it to labor floor - I crowned...in the elevator. I love that story because I tell people life has had it's UPs and DOWNs ever since! (hahaha...life humor)

At 18 months and again at 2 years of age this little sick child came down with double-lung pneumonia...yes, twice. That's me, always wanting to out-do the other people. Overachiever that I am, I had mumps in both sides of my face at one time, four of my teeth fell out in one week when I was six, and I even got chicken pox three separate times before I was 8. DAMN. I had my polio shot, but not the measles vaccination - I freaked out and ran away, literally through an open window, across an orchard, and no one saw my backside until supper time. I knew the doctor's office would be closed - good thing too. The next day I broke out with measles. I didn't know it - maybe God did - but if I had taken the shot that day it could have killed me. They used live viruses in the 60's.

I got over it.

What I didn't quite get over was the feeling of growing up. I sometimes think about that day, about me sitting in the "animal" tree at Western Oaks Elementary, my refuge - my hidey-hole, where life was mine - everything I did was under my control. If I swam in the creek, caught crawfish, skinned tadpoles to see what was inside of them, or if I wrapped little snakes around my hands - I controlled that. If I dug holes and covered them up to catch a tiger, or in most cases hell - it was ME, I did that. I couldn't control the needle - or the four people it took to hold me down - I was tiny. (Sadly, I got over being tiny too! Smiles)

I'd love to be six again - Scout Finch-like. She and I really had a great deal in common. I fought off boys and hated wearing stupid skirts. I wore shorts under my skirts so I could do flips on the monkey bars and I stopped matching my socks - because I could. No, I've not gotten over that - I do still flip on the monkey bars, and I do still don't match my socks - but from time to time even I will succumb to wearing the obligatory skirt. Sometimes, and don't tell my mom, I even like it.

There's not much I haven't gotten over if I set my mind to it. Like you, like most people, I've had sickness, death in the family, friends left me, lovers left me, I left lovers, I had money issues, still have money issues, but you know what - for the most part - I like me anyway. There are one or two things I would have changed. If I knew then what I knew now kind of things - for instance, yes, I think I would have had sex with Alex Van Halen - Damn it! I didn't, and that's that - Caity, my sweet brat - will have to get over that one. She would LOVE to be able to tell people (what am I saying, she does TELL people - she'd love to prove to people) that Alex is her father.

Get over something! Write about it. LIVE.

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