Sixty-nine years ago today, at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning, I entered this world.
Quite frankly, I'm surprised I'm still here this planet.
I've been in three serious auto accidents (1950, 1960 and 1963). I escaped serious injury each time.
In 1959, I almost died from the negligence of my family doctor after I contacted a staph infection from a hernia operation.
In 1960, during Army basic training I accidentally set off a hand grenade. I only suffered minor injuries.
From 1963 to 1980 I was assaulted several times because I was identified as a gay man. At least five times in center city Philadelphia, once in Provincetown, Massachusetts and once in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
I almost committed suicide in 1979. I was in my car with the garage door closed and motor running. I stopped when I realized how much my death would hurt my Mother. As much pain as I was in at that time I could not put my Mother through the pain of a suicide of her first born. I turned off the engine.
In 1980 I was almost choked to death by a homeless man.
All near brushes with death.
I will be here for a little longer.
I'm happy that I am still here.
This is the best time of my life.
I'm older. I'm not as pretty as I used to be.
I have more aches and pains.
I've lost many of my friends and family.
But I am still here.
I am very fortunate to have had the life I have lived.
The only sad thing about today is that this is the first time in my life my Mother will not wish me a happy birthday.
Earlier this week my brother John and his wife sent me a birthday card.
The card said: