At 6:02 pm, on the night of December 31st, 1972, in the maternity ward of Huntington Hospital, on Long Island, New York, a miracle occurred.
Not a glorious, angels singing, bells a’ ringing miracle.
Nothing biblical, world-changing or even local newsworthy.
But a miracle nonetheless.
On that night, I was born.
That may sound pompous and boastful, but I assure you, my arrival on this planet was nothing short of miraculous.
My mother suffered three miscarriages before having me.
Three in three consecutive years.
Her doctor warned her about trying to become pregnant again.
Told her that it would be unlikely that she could even become pregnant again and even if she did, she would never be able to carry a baby to term.
And said if she tried, it could be extremely detrimental to her health.
You know what she did?
She got a new doctor.
My mother was stubborn and obstinate, But more than that, she was determined.
She wanted a baby more than anything else in the world and nothing was going to stop her. She didn’t care what she had to do.
And later in life even admitted that she seriously considered kidnapping one.
Her multiple applications for adoptions were getting held up in bureaucratic red tape and so, against all her doctor’s orders, she kept trying the old fashioned way.
Risking everything against hope.
The universal currency of belief.
And so, after months of trying and failing, hope finally prevailed.
It happened. She became pregnant.
And once again, her doctor warned her about the risks. Warned her there would likely be serious complications. Gave her the option of terminating the pregnancy.
According to my mom, upon hearing this, she almost terminated the doctor.
But because this is real life and not a fairy tale, there were complications.
But my mom would not give up and she would not give in to the doctor’s wishes.
And against all the odds, on New Years Eve, I was born.
Premature, underweight, jaundice and frail. But born alive and breathing.
But not just “born” in the pretty and traditional sense. No. Born in the ‘I fought to get here’, sense.
Fought for every breath. Fought every step of the way to arrive in this world.
To get to this place. To become her son.
I fought kicking. I fought and screaming.
I fought to stake my claim.
Fought to just simply be.
And now, 45 years later, I’m still here.
And I’m back to fighting.
But this time I’m not fighting doctor’s orders, infections or uterine abnormalities.
I’m fighting myself.
Fighting to believe what I’m told.
Struggling to accept things that I should already know.
The energy that created me…the energy that got me here is still the same energy I exude.
It’s still the vibe I put out. I’m told this constantly by friends and family.
But I struggle to acknowledge it myself. Struggle to accept it.
My mental equilibrium is completely off balance and out of whack.
My internal navigation system is not working.
And all I’m trying to do is stabilize myself so that I can make my re-entry into the world.
Much like I did 45 years ago.
I will fight and I will get through this.
And I will be better and stronger for it.
I didn’t fight for nothing.
Didn’t come this far to stop now.
Yes, I’ve had setbacks and I’ve fallen.
But I won’t stop getting up.
I will reemerge and be someone to be trusted and counted on.
To be held and appreciated.
To be valued.
To be loved.
That will be the story of my life.
And I won’t stop fighting for it.