Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My favorite day

It's probably odd and on the stupid side to have a favorite date. Favorite color, ice cream, breed of dog, trashy bar, sure...but favorite calendar date? Yeah, dumb. But so what, I have one anyway. Sue me. And der, yes, it's May 25. For some good reasons, too.

On May 25, 1983, my mother had her last-ever cigarette. Quit cold turkey after smoking two packs of True Blues a day for 30+ years. She had done some serious lung damage by then and was diagnosed with emphysema two years later, but she'd be long dead now had she continued that dirty little habit.

On May 25, 1991, I graduated from high school. Not much of an accomplishment, really, but it was the first step toward getting the fuck out of Longmont, Colorado once and for all. If you've ever been to or even heard of Longmont, Colorado, you understand the significance. If not, I have four words for you: "monster trucks" and "mall hair." Never looked back.

On May 25, 1995, I attended my first R.E.M. show at Fiddler's Green Incredibly Shitty Amphitheatre in Englewood, Colorado. It was ASS cold, sleeting fairly heavily, and we cared not a bit because we were in the 8th row, mere FEET away from Stipey & crew. When they played "End of the World" as a final encore, there was chaos akin to that of a Beatles show in 1963. Seats ripped out and flying everywhere, people pouring over barriers...madness...accompanied, of course, by a chorus of 15,000 voices singing every single word. BIRTHDAY PARTY CHEESECAKE JELLYBEAN BOOM, indeed. Still my favorite concert moment ever, and that is seriously sayin' some shit.

The best and by far most important thing to happen on May 25, however, took place in 1989, when I was 16. That May 25, after a long and nervous day, I witnessed the birth of my niece, Haley Elizabeth.

Watching a baby's birth is...wow. Unbelievable, comparable to nothing, and life-changing to say the very least. It was the first time in my life that I cried...sobbed, really...from absolute joy. It's every bit the miracle all those women's magazines tout it to be, believe me.

I had the honor of becoming the first person ever in the world to really hold Haley. Upon her...um...removal and separation, the doctor handed her to the nurse, who promptly turned and handed her naked, screaming, glop-covered little body to me. "Congratulations, honey. You're an aunt!"

There's really no way to describe how it felt, standing there holding this tiny, wriggling little new life. My hands trembled so hard that I was terrified of dropping her, and I can only imagine the slackjawed, goggle-eyed look of wonder that must have been pasted on my face. It was the happiest moment of my life, before or since. Nothing has even come close. From that second, there was nothing I wouldn't do for her, nothing I wouldn't do to protect her, and no one I loved more.

Haley was evidently pretty damned happy too, seeing as her first conscious act as a brand new human was to take a gargantuan dump into my right hand. Um, yeah...thanks kid. Nice to meet you, too. (You can bet that she LOVED that story as a little kid. Now...probably not so much.)

And now, sixteen years later, my little pooper is old enough to drive. She's the same age I was when she was born...unimaginable to me, but true. For a lot of painful reasons, I haven't seen her for a very long time, but I keep close tabs on her through my parents. She's an incredible person...brilliant, beautiful, a straight-A student and musician, headed for college and what I hope will be an amazing, extraordinary life. I don't know if she knows how proud I am, how much I adore her, or how often I think of her, and miss her. I hope that she does.

So yeah...Happy birthday, sweetheart. You are the best thing ever. And May 25 is always going to be my favorite day of the year.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Big Dan said...

You have an AMAZING memory. I can't remember what happened last weekend to blog about it. But hey, at least we found out where your obsession with shit came from. Cheers - Dan

5:31 PM  
Anonymous charles said...

Um, okay, hi? Enough with the jerking of my tears, please. I remember when this was all pregnant bitches and Norwegian buttcrack. Could we get back to orgiastic weekend wrap-ups and vitriolic tirades against the man now? I'm tired of running to the bathroom for some toilet paper to blow my nose.

I jest, of course. I just don't know what to do with all these--what do you call them…feelings?

PS- My 20 year old brother just moved into his own place, so I should have a little niece or nephew in about 9 months. Can't. Wait.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

It's Maui Josephine's birthday today... Too

She is 14.

Shit how time flies....

7:37 PM  

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