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To My Daughter on Her 17th Birthday, and the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima

Dear Daughter,

I will admit that annual observances of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima weren’t much on my mind when you entered the world in the early evening of August 5, 1998. I was too giddy with anticipation for what was about to transpire as I huddled with your mother, grandmother, a doctor and a rotating cadre of nurses around your birth mother’s bed, doing what we could to comfort her in her travails while hoping to speed you down that birth canal.

You finally made it, after some amount of struggle and a few tense moments when I noted the doctor casting a nervous eye on the gizmo that showed your blood pressure and suddenly adopting a very stern voice in telling Natasha, “You HAVE to push REALLY HARD now, we HAVE to get this baby out of here!”

And so she did, and so you came, and nothing in my world has been the same since.

Hiroshima is 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time, so the bomb...

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