Skip to main content

Tree of Life

Today is my mother's 65th birthday. I just got back from having breakfast with her at one of her favorite haunts, the Original Pancake House. We exchanged birthday gifts two days ago, when it was my birthday. All this talk of birthdays got me to thinking (often dangerous) about what such days are really about, or what their history is.

Life, as we know, is transient. There is no permanency to it. At least, not individual lives. Life, as a broad term, is fairly lengthy. From the microbe to the turtle, from the amoeba to the chimpanzee, life forms as a whole flourish for an exceedingly long time. But not at an individual level. For us, those of us who celebrate birthdays and are reading (and writing) this blog entry, life is fleeting. In this sense, birthdays are not just a celebration of when we were introduced to this world, but also a marker that says, "Hey! I'm still here!" For there will come a time when that will no longer be so.

Two days ago, I became wistful thinking about the day of my birth. From countless re-tellings of my mother, I already knew it was at 11:15am, and that there was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. I knew that, the night before, my parents' friends had been over playing cards until the wee hours, and that my mom was beginning not to feel well.

This year, I asked mom who had been at the hospital when I was born. Aside from her and myself (the two necessary players), it had been my dad and maternal grandmother (Gummy). A pang of sadness hit me as I realized that two of the four people who were present at my birth were now dead. That happens, I suppose, as time marches on.

At a basic level, I owe my life to my parents. That may seem like a dramatic way to phrase the act of copulation, but nevertheless it's true. My father lived for just 52 years, but during that time he helped to bring me to life. It's selfish, but I'm grateful. I'm not likely to do the same for some future human, more's the pity.

And now today I think of my mother, born on a late December day in 1946, one of the first in a long line of baby boomers. I don't know who all was present when she entered this world, but I do know that both her parents are dead. My grandfather, Dean, I never knew. My grandmother, "Gummy," was a major part of my life for the first 22 years. They brought my beautiful mother into the world. It's selfish, but I'm grateful.


  1. A wonderful article you posted. That is so informatory and creative.Please keep these excellent posts coming.
    magento experts


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …