I was born in the middle of the afternoon at 2:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.) on a warm spring day. It was at the Salvation Grace Hospital in a large downtown city, which had a 150-beds.
And I cried.
Why? I know I cried as I left the warmth and security of my mother’s womb. It was my safe place where I hibernated for the past nine months. But I also cried in joy as I had the opportunity to enter a brand-new world called earth.
At that moment, my parents felt it was a ‘miracle of life.’ Turns out I was to be their only miracle.
It was cold at first. My sobs continued until I was cleaned and wrapped in a cozy fleece blanket. The hospital kind, with a blue and a pink stripe. That was my entrance into this world. A picture in my baby album shows proof of birth.
I grew from a baby girl who giggled, and burped. And I learned to talk. My first words were a mish mash of sounds, but they were aplenty.
On October 19th, it was ‘da…. da…. da…. da….’
December 6th my vocabulary expanded with ‘ma…. ma…. ma…. ma….’
Pretty soon after on December 8th it was ‘ba…. ba…. ba…. ba….”
December 15th, ‘ok’ came out of my mouth.
The last recorded uttering of my baby words was ‘mum, mum.’
And that’s how my baby life began.
What about walking and running? I won’t bore you with those details, but I was an alert and intelligent child who walked before she was one. And made her first Easy-Bake oven cake at three.
But what happened between then and now, more than thirty years later. A tragic event as one of my parents died when I was barely five. A sudden happenstance that burdened my mom to become a single parent. But she was not alone. She had education, and she had support. Spiritually she felt the world was there to help her succeed in raising me. The proverbial universal village. It sounds kind of corny, but I do believe the universe conspired to raise me in privilege, and all the comforts a child could ask for.
I was lucky. But along the way, I somehow felt abandoned, seeking attention. Or was it approval? All I know is that I wanted to be loved, and not to be left alone. I learned years later that I always felt my loved ones would abandon me. Logically I knew my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins wouldn’t ‘abandon’ me. Not the way I felt my father had. But he died so suddenly. No warning to any of us. God had other plans for him. And for us
So, what did I do?
Anything and everything in my power to make people stay. A childhood friend told me I was loyal to the core. And she was right. The number of instances where I felt put down, or had that bad weird feeling in my stomach, or was taken advantage of. I tried to understand the other person’s perspective to a fault.
It didn’t hit me till after Roger and I got married, that that fear was hurting me. It gave my power away. Roger was always there for me, and he understood me. The main thing he never abandoned me. Instead, he followed me everywhere I went like a puppy dog. He also took note of what I did, and who I spoke with. Gradually over time, I lost my autonomy and my friends. But mainly I lost myself. Why you ask? So, I could feel loved, and wanted. And never abandoned.
Turns out the death of a parent, especially at such a young age when we are barely scrambling to put words together is tragic. There is loss unexplained but felt. A feeling of abandonment, but never knowing why. A black hole of sorts.
But I was rescued by life. The universe had other plans for me. The plan was to let Roger go back to his family business and let me be. But he still called and emailed. But I fled to another.
He swooped through the clouds from D.C. into a hotel, and we met. What he taught me was that I needed to love myself first, and only then would I be able to set my own boundaries to be loved, and not feel abandoned. To be loved and respected the way I wanted. It was a tough lesson.
The details are tough to remember at this point. But what he taught me was to stand on my two feet. His dad was an officer during the Cold War. He drilled his son into discipline and logic. And I was shown what harm rigid boundaries can also do. This time I wanted to leave, to abandon D.C. It was an opportunity to hop on a plane back home, to open another door. I had packed my bags and stood at the front door.
I thought for a moment. Almost hesitated. I did not want to abandon. Then opened the door. The door, not to your life, but to mine