The world I was born into felt full of sharp edges and harsh landscapes. Even before birth, I struggled to make my way into this world. I carried in me the light of universal positivity, otherwise known as O+ positive blood, while my long-suffering mother carried the generation legacy of her trauma and what seemed like lifetimes of suffering under the cruel vicissitudes of life in her AB- negative bloodline.
Without consciousness, as is so often the case, she attacked what her body was unable to recognize or make sense of and made quick effort in her attempts to make the perceived threat go away. The unfamiliarity of my blood and heart beating within, created a cascade of events threatening my very existence.
Even in utero, I could tell you that I had a soft heart and a deep need for connection. Innocently and without malice, my red blood cells crossed my mother’s placenta and entered her blood stream. I yearned to become one with this woman whom I already loved far beyond words, hoping beyond all hope to feel the deep and abiding protection of a mother’s love.
Because my body and being had not yet grown accustomed to the capricious nature of the world I would soon come to know, I had not yet forged the necessary hypervigilance and fortifications to adapt and survive the damning truth, that the mother I needed, I mean deeply needed like air or water, the kind of need that pulls from far back into our evolutionary history, would never belong to me.
I am sure I suffered greatly when I experienced the onslaught of her attack against me. I know now that she did not mean to hurt me. She just did what her parents had done before her, that when scared and faced with the unknown, fight first ask questions later.
And so, it went. She marched out her antibodies, the troops were sent on a mission to search and destroy my red blood cells, the very essence of my being, that carried the life supporting oxygen throughout my tiny body. I came into this world fighting for a place to feel safe and call home. Willing myself into existence, birthed into a cold, unyielding world that perhaps did not want me here at all.
In what I would later recognize as an eerie and accurate foretelling of my future narrative, my life was saved by the selfless benevolence of others. Multiple transfusions and blood donated by complete strangers sustained me and gave me a chance at life. I like to imagine now that there was some kind of magic or tangible goodness held lovingly in the blood that flowed in me with each transfusion I received. Maybe it was even a mother or father who took time out of their busy schedule in the hopes of helping save a life and leave behind a legacy of hope. A hope I internalized and relied upon to pull me through the dark days that would lie ahead.
A hope that carried within a deep knowing that the brittle, small world I was born into was only a distorted shadow and that my destiny would be found in the much grander and wondrous world that was waiting patiently for me. Their life blood left in me an imprint, an ancestral memory reminding me of my enduring relationship to all in this world that is beautiful and holy.
Years passed as they do, full of the everyday moments that make up our existence. Births and deaths, joys and sorrows, the mundane interspersed with the ecstatic, that mark the journey for each of us. Along the way I received infusions and transfusions from so many. Friends, lovers, children, therapists and strangers. Each feeding and nurturing my soul with a gentle teaching, a simple kindness or a whisper of compassion that softened my journey and coaxed my heart out of hiding. They generously allowed me to borrow their field of vision to help forge my way into this new world, one I had only previously dreamed of.
The world I will leave this earth from is one full of incredible softness and breathtaking landscapes. Brimming with soft breezes and wet baby kisses. Smores over the campfire, and high mountain vistas offering awe-inspiring views. A world where we can delight in the smell that lingers after a summer thunderstorm, where we can experience the inherent goodness of our own sorrow when allowed to move freely through the body, or hugs so real and sure that they remind us that belonging has always been our birthright.
A world where we can be curious and welcome what feels foreign and unfamiliar like we would a beloved long-awaited guest into the warmth of our own home. A world that recognizes that despite our perceived differences, we share coursing through our blood a familial DNA evolving from one human family and the future of our shared humanity lies with each of us remembering that we belong to one another.