Before i finish this post, it will be 8:30 a.m. Lebanon, Tennessee time.
It hit me that is the time my parents would call every year on this day when i was accessible by phone. After i would say the perfunctory “hello,” they would burst into “Happy Birthday.” As they aged, the voices were a little more scratchy, a little more off key, but i could feel the love pouring out over the phone like they were in my room hugging me.
It did not occur to me until this morning, they would wake me up at 6:30 a.m. PST, because that was the time i was born. They loved to tell the tale of how Daddy finagled a week of liberty, by cobbling together several liberty passes from his Seabee friends. He took the train from Gulfport, Mississippi where his 75th Seabees were waiting to be shipped to parts unknown. I was late, so after the instruction of Dr. Charles Lowe, he walked Mother around the neighborhood, “not until she was tired, but until he was tired.” It appeared not to be working. i was stubborn even then. But finally on Tuesday, they went to the hospital. My grandmother, Katherine “Granny” Prichard was the attending nurse. i was anxious to get out i guess as Dr. Lowe did not have time to get in his gown and delivered me in his shirt sleeves.
i think of Daddy waiting in the lobby. i wondered what he thought as he waited. He had a new house, his future was more uncertain than we can comprehend now, his wife was going to have to take care of a newborn while he was away, there was this war going on.
After he saw me, he caught the train back to Gulfport and was not UA (Unauthorized Absence).
And for sixty-nine years, they sang to me as close to 8:30 a.m. Lebanon time on this day.
i do miss that rendition of “Happy Birthday” and them.