A Difficult Birth

by Andrew Adleman

Her death is still as fresh as my birth. It was nine months ago, (her death, not my birth) and I miss her very much, especially on days like today. I remember her love and her singing Happy Birthday to me. I also recall the story she told of my difficult birth.

She was, of course, rushed to the hospital where she waited, and waited, and waited — in labor for 72 hours. I am not sure if mom was reluctant to bring me into the world, or if I was being extra cautious about sliding my pudgy baby body those last few inches to a new existence. Given my subsequent history, I’m pretty sure it was the latter.

Just as my mother had endured my birth, this willful woman endured her life, and mine, though not without letting me know that she knew what was best. To her dismay I did not become a Jewish heart surgeon (or even a Presbyterian foot doctor). Mom also put up with me marrying two non-Jewish women (not at the same time, God forbid), and gradually grew to love them as she loved me.

An unrepentant smoker, she ultimately contracted cancer and endured treatments, operations, and uncomfortable procedures. Finally, nine months ago, she could endure no more.

Now the woman who brought me into this life is gone and the loss has been greater than I ever imagined. Yes, indeed, being in the world without her has been a complicated transition — a difficult birth.


Andrew Adleman, a former Santa Fe resident, currently lives in Southern California.

Editor's Note: For Mother's Day, co-founder Judith Fein wrote about her mama. We decided to check in with our other writers to see what they have to say about the women who birthed them. You may be very surprised. Feel free to leave comments for any of the writers and Happy Mother's Day if you are one, have one, or plan to be one!

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