Sunday is my birthday, and I’ll be heading to western Massachusetts, to the house where my mother and late father raised six children. Their first-born, Cathy, died in early infancy, so I’m the oldest.
At 81, my mother repeats her stories, and I expect she’ll tell me, again, about that golden Indian summer day I was born.
She and her mother walked “downstreet,” as people up there say, and had lunch in a place called Candyland. During coffee my mother realized she’d started labor, so my grandmother called a cab.
In her hospital room, my mother’s water broke suddenly and with such startling force that my father ran, in tears, for the doctor; Cathy had been born with spina bifida, and he thought something was wrong. But I was a healthy six pounds-plus.