Chapter one. I am born.

by Lorin Michel Sunday, December 31, 2017 6:09 PM

Charles Dickens, one of my favorite authors, begins his epic David Copperfield with those three words. The actual sentence that contains “I am born” begins like this: “To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born …” It’s the second sentence of the book, and goes on to elaborate: “(as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night.” 

To me, if someone is born at twelve o’clock, midnight, it could be attributed to the day before of the day after. 

I, too, record that I was born, but on a Saturday some years ago. I don’t recall any of the details, for obvious reasons, but I have been informed and believe it to be true that I made a fast appearance, that the small town doctor wasn’t quite ready for me, and that my father, all of 23 at the time, thought that both my mother and his new baby had died. I won’t go into the details but focus instead on the fact that I made a fast appearance and there was a small town doctor there to catch me. 

I was a big baby, 8 lbs 14 ounces. Almost unheard of in those way-back dark ages for a first baby but there I was. Fat, round, pink and bald. Funny how I seem to be returning to at least three of those things as I get older. I’ll leave it to the reader to decipher which one I’m not but it rhymes with ink. 

My life since I was born has been mostly good. There have been some bad times, some sad times, some happy times, many times filled with joy. There has been angst and turmoil, sturm und drang. I have struggled and I have persevered. I have loved and lost and loved even more. I have been up and I have been down. I have been successful and I have been a failure. My life has been filled with family who love me and who I love dearly, friends who make my life full. I have had a wonderful cat and three extraordinary dogs. One not so good husband and another who makes up for that first unfortunate choice every day. He’s my favorite husband ever. 

And I have a great kid who is healthy and happy, and working in his chosen field in Atlanta. He came home on Friday, his girlfriend in tow. They’re here through next Friday. Yesterday was my birthday and I often do my best to ignore it. Birthdays don’t seem to mean as much when you’re over 40. They seem to be just a reminder of the other side, the approach of a much different part of life, and then of the inevitable. I don’t think about it much. I still like to believe that I’m invincible.

To begin this next year at the end of this past one, I record that I am hopeful. On this night, the last of 2017, at twelve o’clock, we will celebrate. Then tomorrow, we start anew. You and me. All of us. 

The first line of David Copperfield, the line preceding the record of his birth, says: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”

I’m in charge of my destiny. I get ample assists from those that I love and from those that love me. I don’t care if I turn out to be the hero of my own life. I just want to continue living it out loud.

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live out loud

Comments (1) -

1/1/2018 5:32:24 AM #

Happy new year, my friend.

Pam marcin United States

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