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Who Am I

by

Michael Faircloth

When I landed in the doctor's hands after being forced from the comfort and safety of my motherís womb, I didnít have to try to breathe. Somehow I knew the way to breathe. I had never used my lungs before and like magic they started working.

The breath of life begins to flow through my body as Iím cut away from my motherís cord. What was the main thing sustaining my life, ended, and without hesitation something new and just as magical took over, and I continue to live. I am so very grateful for the wonderful and always magical and, many times, not expected things that meet us in life to help us continue to live.

As an infant I have only needs and offer nothing in return. Why Iím so lucky to have someone want to take care of me, I donít know. All I do is demand one thing after another. All hours of the day and night, I give no breaks and still Iím taken care of. Why am I so loved so much by someone who knows so little about me and has known me for such a short time? I do nothing to deserve any of this. If I could, would I be so kind to a new life? God, I hope so. Maybe if I figure out enough things about this life that Iím starting, I will be willing to love everyone the same way that this stranger is loving me.

Being somewhat aware of the world now, and having learned how to walk, then talk, and even the one thing that seems to make everybody happy, the potty thing, I start to question who I am. This wonderful person continues to give me what I need to live in this world. Why do I deserve so much attention? Who am I to make such a nice person go to so much trouble all the time? Why do I have this ability to have everything I need given to me even before I know why I need it? I donít do anything but take; I donít know how to give. It isnít fair of me to cause so much trouble to such a wonderful person; I hope I can, one day, repay everything that I have selfishly taken.

Is it always going to be so hard to live? When can I give something back? Itís my duty to give more than I have taken and when the time comes I hope that I will. For now I must continue to take, please forgive me.

ďOh my God! Whatís happening to me?Ē Life is giving me things that I donít think Iím supposed to have. This must be a mistake. I know that I never seem to stop changing, but this is too much. My body parts shouldnít be doing the things that theyíre doing. To make things worse, why are they making me do the things that Iím doing. No one mentioned this to me. I was doing a fairly good job at being happy and just started getting used to life.

Now this stuff; bigger parts, hairy parts, and all those strange new feelings. Why? Am I being punished by life? The wonderful person who provided for me so far tells me that these are only growing pains. Well, I donít think I like it too much. How is this going to help me? Iím sure this isnít supposed to happen. ďHello! Does anyone hear me? You can stop the changes now. I want to go back. Please!!!Ē

Who am I to have to suffer such harsh changes? Why didnít I get what I needed when I needed it? Is someone forgetting their job? ďOh no!Ē Iím starting to get some really strange feelings inside of me. I just started getting used to the body changes and now I must endure even more changes. I think Iíve changed quite enough and deserve a break. What is this emotional stuff, anyway? What does love have to do with that kind of stuff? Iím not sure but I think Iím in love, oh crap!

Someone told me that stuff was just ďadolescenceĒ and everyone goes through it. Iíll survive, I suppose. New body, new mind; that sure was a lot of changes. I think Iím starting to figure out who I am.

ďNo, not again! Why me?Ē Iím starting to get mad about this stuff that keeps happening to me. It needs to stop right now. What is this sex stuff anyway? I really want to try it and at the same time itís kind of scary. I have friends that are telling me to do it, it feels great. Those mean people that take care of me tell me that itís a bad thing. What do they know? Theyíre old, things are different for me. They just donít understand. My body wants it much the same way that it wanted that first breath of air.

Why hasnít life given me what I need to get through this stage of life. ďOh God, help me.Ē

Sex, drugs, smoking and so many other things that are being thrown at me. Why  has life become so hard? Why has everyone deserted me? No one feels my pain. No one sees my fear. I must find a way. I hope I make it. Please wait for me; Iím trying very hard to figure it all out. If I make it Iíll be back.

I hope thatís the hardest thing that Iíll ever go through. Itís time to leave; schoolís over and I donít see a lot of options. The military will give me some time to figure out the future. I donít know what else to do. No advice, no choices. I know they love me but I must go. I donít know why, but I know itís my path. Please pray for me. Iíll be back in a few years.

New lessons, new friends, new loves, they all go by so fast. Iíve seen so much and I think Iím starting to know who I am. Iím glad because lifeís been so confusing so far; it feels good to start to see the light. My time in the service is up and I did a good job for my country and Iím grateful for all that they have given me, and now itís time to go home.

One day at home let me understand what people mean by ďyou can never go home.Ē Home will always be the same but Iím not. Iím an adult now and I can never live at the home that helped me to get to this point in my life. Just when I thought I was starting to understand this life that Iíve been given, everything has changed.

Who am I anyway? Why does it get harder every time I think I finally understand? I must leave now, please pray for me.

A few different places to live. A few jobs and still uncertain which way to go with my life, but always moving forward. Getting older, getting wiser, time to get married. Get the house and start the new life together. Lifeís looking good and the job is good and the home is good and the marriage is good. I think I'm starting to finally understand who I am and why life is the way it is.

Having a good day at work and receive a phone call. My father died today. There are my old friends that I met during adolescence. Pain and confusion back for another visit. I must keep my promise to my father. No one to see his dead body and immediate cremation. Please help me God, again. A hard promise was made and a hard promise has been kept. Things change when those who first took care of you, begin to disappear. Having small experiences with death as a child doesnít at all prepare you for what everyone will one day face. I will continue to move forward; right now it is the only thing I know how to do. Still, I wonder who I am; Iím not sure anymore.

Three months have now passed since the one I called my father died. The pain has moved on and Iím starting to see myself again. Iím glad I had the chance to help him so much and to get to know him. I didnít get to do that as a child. We did become friends; I loved him. Maybe I can find the answers I seek to the new questions I have.

A good day at work today. I stopped to get a haircut on the way home from work today. The wife is working the evening shift today, so thereís no hurry to get home. Checking the answering machine to find my old friends waiting for me. I donít know why they like me so much. I really wish they would go away and let me live. I donít understand why life can be so hard. Dear God I need a lot of help this time.

The message on the answering machine was from my brother-in-law. ďYour mom got sick at work, sheís at the hospital, doesnít look good.Ē She was only forty-eight years in this world. She struggled for every one of those years and just when she had a good husband and had the chance to enjoy life and finally relax, sheís dead. What now? I donít know who I am and I donít care anymore. I feel so alone. I must move forward; itís the only direction I know.

Strange how life takes us where we must go. I hope to find myself again. Life seems so different than it used to. Nothing looks the same and nothing feels the way it used to. Help me God, I donít know if Iím going to make it. I promise Iíll try.

With a couple years under my belt, its time to change once again. The world doesnít look too promising, so it is time to take a leap of faith. With two wonderful children in my home, I continue my travels in life. Will I now learn who I really am and solve this mystery that began so long ago?

I spend day and night caring for and loving these new babies that are in my home. I now know why I was so loved when I was in their position. I have the answers to the questions they will have. Yes you will learn to love as I love you. Yes you will do all the things that I will do for you. Iím sorry that I waited too long and you didnít get to meet my mother and father. I know they are watching you and are loving you from the other side of life. Donít worry, Iíll teach you all about them and when itís each of our turn to complete our life here, weíll join them there. I think Iím starting to see, for the first time, who I am.

Many things and many people have passed by my life and every single one has made a contribution to who I am. With every change that comes, good or bad, life sends me what I need to get through to the next moment. I no longer wonder who I am. I now know the answer to the questions of an infant from so long ago. I am a collection of everyone that I have ever met and I am a part of everything I have ever seen. All the good and all the bad that have passed through my life have made me who I am.

Every day I am different than the day before. I can never remain the same. Life will send me where I need to be and it will give me what I need to live. Thank you dear God. I understand.

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