It’s December 4, 2010. Thirty-three years ago today, I was born in a small town hospital in southwest Alabama. It was the late 70s when people were wearing short dresses, short shorts, and tons of plaid. Dear Lord, all those plaid pants. Where did they come from? And polyester was running rampant. Who would have ever guessed that an angel such as I would be, as Big Fatty says, exiting the birth canal.
Born to two country people, I was bound to follow in their footsteps. And gladly so. I was named after my dad, my cousin, my doctor, and my doctor’s dad. Wesley NEAL.
Even though my birth was surrounded by some drama, I made my way home to my sister and my grandparents. I’ve seen pictures and I was a fatty, fatty, fatty! I hold the place as the heaviest of the three children by .5 ounces and I believe I was the shortest.
It wasn’t easy growing up but, looking back, it was that raising that made me stronger. And no, the raising didn’t make me gay. That was already in the wiring. But it did teach me not to be ashamed of who I am. It taught me to appreciate what I have and not want things I don’t need. That’s selfish. It taught me to respect others, even when those I respect don’t respect me. It taught me that other people aren’t strangers unless you make them so. Lastly, it taught me to be thankful. More kids need to be taught that these days. If that were so, then maybe we would have some decent, respectful, and possibly smart young adults.
Bringing it to a close, my birthdays may just be regular days, 365 other days apart. They are reminders to me that I was given a life by a much higher power than any human, using my parents as instruments. And they’ve created three sweet sounds. I’m very proud to say I have come from good stock and I’ve had thirty-three years to prove it. I hope they’re proud.
Happy birthday to me.