A letter from mother on my birthday

3511 Mahon Ave. North Vancouver,B.C.

June 25,1984. Dear Bruce,

Mom

Ready to try again

So you are thirty-one years old today. It hardly seems possible because the events of the day you were born are still as vivid in my mind as if  the whole thing had happened just a year or so ago.

Your dad was out of town, on the road, and his father and stepmother  had agreed to come and get your two sisters and look after them when it was  time for me to go to the hospital. However, their understanding of when they  should come obviously did not square with mine. I phoned them at about eight  o’clock in the morning to tell them that I was having labor pains and would  like them to come for the girls. They said they would come as soon as Art got  home from work … after five o’clock.

Naturally this caused me some concern because the only person that was available to look after the girls on an interim basis was the new tenant in the other half of our duplex, a who I scarcely knew. So I waited, and waited, becoming more and more frightened, until about four o’clock, at which point my pains were  scarcely one minute apart.  I can still  remember the frightened faces of your two sisters as I left, with them crying, and  the new neighbor obviously unhappy about this turn of events.

It was a good thing  that I did not delay any longer, because as it turned out, you were the only one of my children who would not have been born easily without assistance. You were a frontal delivery, and required some expert manipulation in order to be born without any damage. The procedure is also rather painful, and my concern for my two older children probably added an extra level of tension.

When you finally arrived about 8.30 P.M., you were just fine …no severe bruising, just a slightly elongated head, which the doctor assured me would shortly resume its normal shape (which it did.)

Your dad did not get to see you until you were almost two days old, although he did come back early on the Friday. (You were born on a Wednesday.) He also reclaimed our little girls from their relieved grandparents, and looked after them until I returned home when you were five days old.

During the weekend while I was in the hospital I was deluged with flowers and gifts for you from
all your dad’s relatives, who were absolutely delighted that we had finally managed to produce a boy. They arrived in droves to inspect you and declared that you were very nice. However, once I returned home they disappeared into whatever limbo they had occupied before …many of them I didn’t see again for years.

However, you certainly were given a royal reception to the clan!

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