Monday, August 16, 2010

She Was Born During a Blizzard

"Did you know there was a blizzard the day we brought you home from the hospital?  We couldn't even get up the drive.  The neighbors had to come and help us so we could get you inside."  Yeah Ma, I know.  You tell me every year on my birthday.  The big blizzard of Cleveland, 1966.  Got it.

I had a rough entry into this world, so what's a blizzard compared to that?  Nothing but cold water.  My mom was born to two Italian immigrants.  My dad was born to two first generation Polish Americans (meaning, my dad's grandparents were both Polish immigrants).  Grandma L, as she will be called here, hated Italians.   Well to be fair, she hated everyone, but Italians in particular.  She made my mom feel like shit for over 40 years and my mom just dealt with it in the interest of family unity.  I'm not so sure I could be as pragmatic in the same situation.  Sometimes that woman really needed to be told off.  Like the day of my birth for example.

I'm the fourth of four children and it was time for me to enter the world.  A rather stupid nurse squeezed my mom's IV line while she was in labor and all hell then broke loose.  Whatever was in the line went into mom too fast, causing big problems.  Hemorrhaging, intense hemorrhaging, that the same stupid nurse discovered and started screaming and panicking about, yelling up and down the halls for help.   Dumb bitch, I hope she was fired.

Emergency C-section to the rescue!  Touch and go, lots of blood loss... Mom almost died, I almost died.  But alas, I'm here to tell the tale of surviving.  My little six pounds of life with a mass of dark hair, wrapped up in blankets and given to my mom to hold while family came in to offer concern, joy and love.  Well, all except for Grandma L, who upon seeing me for the first time in my exhausted mother's arms said these words, "It's just a shame they all had to look like you."

A blizzard by comparison really doesn't mean shit.

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