I turned 55 today. Typical day, I woke up my usual time and again, like every October 5 for the last few years, I am missing a phone call I know I'm not going to get.
You see, my mom (who passed away a few years ago)
and I had a sweet and curious birthday tradition. Every fifth of
October she'd call me on the phone to tell me the story of my birth.
I'd listen quietly and politely each year even though I knew all the
details from the previous year's call. And the the call year before that. And the one before that. And so on - turtles all the way down.
Our conversation would usually go something like this:
"You were a very easy birth," she'd say. "You can thank your older brother for that."
"It was early in the morning. We were living in the apartment in Hamden
and I woke up and knew it was time," she'd continue. "I tapped your
father to wake him up. 'Al,' I said. 'It's time to go.'"
"OK," she would say he said. "I'll make us some coffee."
"No, Al. We have to go now!"
"OK, let me put on my suit."
"No, Al. Now."
And so they went to the hospital for my very easy birth.
I heard that story every year for more than 20 years - until I didn't.
And I miss it every October 5.