Mom often told me the details of the day of my birth -- not how many hours she was in labor or how bad the pain was or whether or not drugs were administered. But I heard often how it was the coldest day on record -- temperatures dipping to well-below zero. How even though I was a big baby -- weighing in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces and bigger than my three older brothers -- the doctors and nurses couldn't get my temperature up, and I was placed in an incubator. I wonder now if this is the reason I feel cold all the time.
It never occurred to me that my birth may have been difficult for my mom or that her pregnancy was anything but easy. I don't know if it ever occurred to her. It wasn't like her to complain or to speak of her children as burdens. I believe we were a source of pride. But she was never one to brag, not about her kids, not about herself. She was self-deprecating, to a fault. But she was talented -- she knit, she sewed, she made the most amazing cakes that were like works of art. At the age of 70, she was learning to use a computer.
I wasn't ready to say goodbye. I can only hope that when I become a mom, I do as good a job as she did.