I Am So Born

We lived, not in San Pablo’s compressed urban area, but in a rural outskirt area, on a small street called Willets Avenue.

Birth StoryThere were three white houses in a row. The people who became my parents helped build one of those houses before I was born. The three houses were identical except for the color of the shutters. One had yellow shutters on each side of the windows. One had red shutters. And our house had green shutters.

It was there, months later, that my parents brought me home from the hospital and settled me into a crib in a room I shared with my older sister, Susan.

Many years later I heard my father talking about what happened when I was born. It started with a phone call.

He rushed home to find my mother ready to take a shower. “Shouldn’t we be going, Pat?” he asked, concern showing on his face.

“I’m not in any hurry,” she replied.

“Yeah, but, the baby–”

“Right now I’m about to take a shower,” she told him, and shrugged as he stood there, his jaw dropped, his eyes wide. “That’s what I want to do, and so I’m going to. I don’t want to get there and have to wait, like last time.”

My father could not convince my mother of anything, so he sat down and leafed through his most recent copy of Time Magazine. He was unable to focus on the words.

By the time they got ready to go out to the car it was past two o’clock in the afternoon. They rushed down the McArthur Freeway heading for downtown Oakland. My mother’s labor pains by then were so severe she couldn’t conceal the pain.

“Pat, you should have let me drive you there sooner.”

“I’m fine, dammit. I didn’t want to go.”

He shook his head, watching her writhe as she endured the next pain without making a sound.

They pulled into the emergency room parking lot next to the old Kaiser Hospital in downtown Oakland at 2:30pm. I was ready to be born. A few minutes later, there I was, making an entry into the outer world, physical body fully intact, a vehicle for my spirit’s human expression.That happened on July 13, 1952 at 2:46pm.

Image credit: PiePie @ Pixabay. License: CC0 Public Domain.