Each year on my birthday, my mother tells me the story of the day I was born.
April 10, 1957.
She found the spring sunshine exhilarating…after dropping my father off at Weil Bros. Cotton Co. in downtown Memphis, where he was traffic manager, she drove to Seessel’s, her favorite supermarket, and purchased fresh, juicy red strawberries and cream, for a shortcake.
Then she went across the street to Julius Lewis, where she bought a snazzy pair of high-heeled red sandals to wear post-baby.
Later that afternoon, the shortcake baked, the strawberries sliced and sugared, and the cream whipped, she walked several blocks down the street to see Old Man Garavelli’s azaleas in all their red April brilliance.
One the way back home, I gave a big kick and she doubled over. Two kind and concerned ladies in a car stopped to ask if she needed help, but she waved their offer aside and continued her walk home.
That night after dinner, my father went to his accountant’s to work on his taxes. He returned home just before 10 to find my mother lying on the sofa watching the end of the Kraft Theater program on TV. A few minutes later her water broke and it was off to Methodist Hospital, where I was born at ll:47.
Thirteen more minutes and I would have shared a birthday with my mother’s twin sisters Ruth and Naomi.
I love to hear my mother tell this story because of the zest and enthusiasm that still remains in her voice. It makes me feel loved and wanted. I am grateful to my parents for the gift of life!
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