Luck of the Draw


I used to think that my sole desire in coming a month early was to avoid being an Aries and that Pisces was going to serve my personality better. But now I’m wondering if my goal was to be born on Saint Patrick. From what I have been told, I don’t think that there’s an ounce of Irish blood in either side of my family, so St. Paddy’s would have to due. I must have mis diagnosed the wind and the celestial formations as I came up a tad bit short.

I’m not grumbling about being born on Pi Day. I love sharing my birthdate with Albert Einstein. I know that this is why I prefer pie over cake.

To not be a full-term baby with parents of opposite blood, if I were betting against the house, the odds wouldn’t be great. I’m proud to say that all of my sisters rode the dice and came up Lucky. Deb, the third born, set the stage for coming early. I figured that if she could do it, I could do it better. I have no recollection if she were smaller or larger than I at birth. I don’t remember what I weighed in at, but I know that it took me a month in the hospital to get to that magic number five. Five pounds and I could go home.

I try to imagine my mom carting My ten, six, and three year-old-sisters to the hospital from Weston to Boston in the winter. I suspect Gram held court at our house and her apartment. I have a vague recollection that my mom’s mom was going through failing health. The family at 77 Pinecroft Road was not business as usual for a while.

I don’t know if my premature birth had anything to do with the Wilm’s Kidney Cancer that I had when I was twenty-eight, but I do know that my odds of surviving were much better in 1988 than in 1965. And I was extremely lucky in being diagnosed in the first place. I’ve told that story a multitude of times. Ask if you want me to tell you of how soccer saved my life.

I had Luck by the tail from the beginning of my life. I was lucky that my father worked with intensity to give us at least he had in his youth and perhaps more. He might have had motivation to prove to my mother’s family that she had not married below her rank.

Think Stepford Wives and that was my formative years. Close knit community. Neighbors watched each other’s kids. By the time I came along, our neighbors were done raising kids. I still took advantage of the Brodrick’s tennis court, though I did spend a lot of time fetching tennis balls from the woods. I enjoyed wonderful years with the Harvey’s and with Jill’s horses. There were two baseball diamonds with pickup games going most of the time. The best was the Barconia’s pound. The good doctor even put flood lights up for them we played hockey.

Gender is the only area where luck robbed me. My early dreams of playing hockey for the Boston Bruins or baseball with the Red Sox were dashed early.

And then I stepped outside of the Weston bubble when played hockey for the Waltham Angels, which then became the Waltham Wings. The world was different. Waltham was more of a city; Weston was more of a cocoon. I was so protected, naïve, and a bit lagging developmentally.

My teammates gave me a hard time about being from Weston, but that only made me work that much harder. There was a lot for me to learn. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn to hold my temper and spent the majority of the time in the penalty box. Terry O’Reilly was my favorite player, right there with Bobby Orr.

In a perfect world, I would have been lucky to have had my mom by my side longer than twelve years, but the only reason why I experienced hockey and everything else since then was because of my mom’s death.

After yesterday’s powerful march, I ask myself if I have made the most of my Lucky Life, but before I even finish writing the question, I realize that I’d be lying if I said yes. I have a lot of work to do to pay that luck back.




1 Comment

  1. So far, from everyone I’ve heard speak who went to a Women’s March, they all feel the same as you do… they want to do more. This election seems like it was preventable…and the question has to be asked: Did all those protesting around the country and ex-pats, as well, do their due diligence on November the Eighth and VOTE? If not, we need to start there.

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