Today…this date; this particular April 22 marks the 25² anniversary of my mother’s third and final Cesarean section delivery.
Otherwise known as my 50th birthday.
That’s right..rally ’round. Please leave greetings. Wish me the best, especially you readers from the U.K.and Rangoon.
Now then. Jeez….where do I begin At the beginning, I suppose.
The elders called her “Nonie”, which is Native American for “Runs While Criticizing Daughters”.
A little bit about my human incubator: My sainted mother is short…4’9″ as of this writing,but make no mistake, she is incredibly tall and stalwart in every possible way.
She’s still an impressive woman, one year away from reaching octogenarian status, but don’t let the age fool you. She’s been successful in an industry that traditionally, has put more than a few good ol’ boys on their collective asses. She’s smart, tough and as we say here in Texas, “don’t mess with Mama.” She divorced my father more than 30 years ago. They continue to be disparate personalities. His name is Louis, so of course, that means my sisters, Kathy and Karol and I, are all productions of NonieLou Studios.
Over the years, my mater regaled me with stories about my nine month relationship with our obstetrician. He who used to marvel at my how active I was en utero—apparently, I’d kick a lot. He called these the actions of a very impatient child who once born, would be on a mission in life. The good doctor once said when he extricated me from my uterine hostel, he thought he saw random scratchings on the walls of my fleshy, vascular-rich cavernous dwelling.
Then, he looked closer and saw this:
And realized I was an artistically precocious fetus, as well as an impatient one.
And why not? I had things to do, people to see. Besides, I gestated inside another woman for nine months. Then, I spent about 18 years incubating beside her and now, 32 years later, I have become Laurie Kendrick–an incredible specimen that grew from concave titted sapling to this incredible adult/woman/sister/daughter with no concept of the tautological constructs that exist in contemporary English.
Because it’s my birthday and I have almost everything I could ask for—almost—I’ve decided that I’m going to give something, instead of asking for something as I would ordinarily.
My present to you is unsolicited advice.
You see, I’ve learned something very important in recent days. I learned that if you seek approval from others, you’ll only be disappointed. Besides, you have to be OK with who and what you are before anyone else will.
I also learned that as a species, we humans aren’t very nice to each other. Some of us can be cruel. Vicious even.
We hear about illegal immigrants here in Houston who spent three days carjacking women, knifing one who refused to give up her keys because her four month old baby was still in her car seat.
That 36-year-old mother of four died a few hours later.
We hear about children raped and murdered by Sunday School teachers in California; about CEO’s who give themselves 500 thousand dollar bonuses as a reward for enduring the loathsome task of firing a third of their company’s work force.
We hear about Ponzi schemes and hackers looking to steal identities as we sit and piddle on our Googles and play with our Yahoos.
We hear about muggings, break-ins and robberies, and we hear so much about the dissolution of loving relationships, due to self-centered behavior.
We hear a lot about destructive , toxic people.
Abused husbands and wives; emotionally tortured boyfriends and girlfriends.
There’s cursed, cursed infidelity.
There are women who are left with nothing when their worthless husbands (and “baby daddies”) walk out on them, leaving them to raise kids as best they can. Single motherdom makes these women incredibly angry, bitter and resentful. They’re miserable so they make other people miserable.
And there’s way too much of that in the world.
So, last year in honoring the formation of my 49th ring around my trunk, I wrote down a few things I felt strongly about and decided to make that my new screed and they all still hold true a year later. If by some chance you want to give me something for my birthday, then think about these things for a second, then please, employ them in your life:
- Be tolerant, but make sure your tolerance has a cap. Don’t take abuse of ANY kind. Ever
- Don’t take people for granted
- Love grandly, but not stupidly. There’s no such thing as unconditional love. You should never love someone who hurts you or inflicts ANY kind of pain on purpose
- Be polite
- Thank other drivers with a little wave or something when they allow you to merge into the lane ahead of them
- Be kind
- Be considerate
- Intent never precludes action and actions ALWAYS speak louder than words. Do what you say you’re going to do
- ALWAYS try to understand the incredible dynamic involved when these three words, “I love you” are spoken. Say them often and mean it
- Don’t lie. Be honest with others and yourself, especially
- Be generous with your time, your money and your affection
- Never waste time. It’s too precious
And lastly, when everything is said and done, know this: people are made to be loved and things are made to be used. The reason why there’s so much goddamn strife in the world today is because we confuse the two. So often, things are loved and people are used.
That’s no way to live…
Well, there you have it.
With maturity comes wisdom and acuity, and I regret that these are newfound things in my life at this stage of this whacky Milton Bradley existence, but I want you to know that I meant everything I’ve written in this post. I want you to find happiness. I mean that. I want this more than anything.
It’s my present to you.
I did this last year and swore I’d do it again and just like my 49th birthday, I sincerely hope that once again, I can give…..just as good as I get.
Here’s to humanity.
Here’s to the return of joy.
And here’s to necessary reflection.
Life is an amazing journey. It’s complex and ugly at times and when it isn’t, it can be easy and lovely to look at, even through 50 year-old eyes.
You see, over the past few days, I’ve been going through that vast record collection I call life and I picked up that huge LP with it’s 50 tracks delicately etched into the vinyl disc and I studied it long and hard.
Much to my suprise, I still have a B-side.