Here she is, my mom, Evheniya, lying in the medicine absorbed hospital, full of noise and patients. Though it is evening, it seems that the day continues its journey inside of the hospital. Life comes into a door and leaves through another door. Soon the time will come for my birth. The doctors still don’t know the details of my birth. But they continue hoping that another miracle of birth will happen this very night. As the time continues to make its steps into a dark night, the anticipation in the room continues to grow. Anxiety overtakes everyone present in the room. With the ticking of the clock the beating of the heart doubles, as if it’s trying to catch up the speed by three times faster than the speed of a clock. Finally, the clock reached its time, and the time has arrived to its destination. The glorious moment, a miracle of the beginning of life has come nigh. My mom prepared herself emotionally to deliver, by drinking a glass of vodka. She told me years later during my conversations with her that when I grow up that she had to have some alcohol pumping through her blood so she would ease the pain during my birth. For those who don’t know our hospitals in Ukraine, didn’t really provide the healthiest ways of treatment to patients. No wonder, that the doctors or nurses, it is not clear from my mom’s stories, gave her some alcohol before the delivery, to make her calm.
Once the night approached its mid point, the silence occupied the hospital. Later it was disturbed by my mom’s scream. The delivery passed successfully. It was the beginning of a new life. It was my birth on the 8th of November 1979. Sometimes, to make people remember when my birthday is, I share with them a saying, taken and slightly twisted from the movie called “V for Vendetta”. It says, “Remember, remember the 8th of November”. Actually in the movie it says “5th of November”, the date commemorated by British in remembrance of a day when finally someone in their history rebelled against their government to fight for freedom.
After all the labor and cleaning, the night has almost approached to the end. My mom has chosen a name for me, Vitaly. Sometimes I tell people that the easiest way to remember my name would be to say the name of a country “Italy” and add the “V” letter at the front, making an accent on “a” rather than on “i”. Or sometimes I explain, that it is pronounced by putting one English word and one letter together: “Vital” and “y”. I don’t have a clear explanation why my mom has chosen that particular name for me, but this much I can say about my name. It originates from the Latin word “Vita” meaning life. As a whole, my name means, “He that giveth life”. There are few other words that can relate to my name, such as: vital, vitamin, vitality etc. But, in any case, I am happy to be called Vitaly. A few people I know were able to pronounce my name correctly in English. But I don’t get offended if my name is mispronounced. Diehl Carnegie in his book “How to make friends” says that the most important thing that people like to hear is your own name. If my name is mispronounced but at least I am able to recognize that it is my name that was being said I would be a happy man. This is why I never get offended if my name is not pronounced correctly.
My middle name was supposed to come from my father’s first name. This has been our tradition in Ukraine to get our middle and our last names from our father’s names. Unfortunately this was not the case with me. I don’t believe that my mom put much thought into it, when she gave me my middle name Vasylyovich that comes from its root name, Vasyliy. But my father was not Vasiliy, as I found out later from my mother. Neither his last name was Mahidov. My mom decided to keep her last name with me. Therefore here is my full name – Vitaly Vasylyovich Mahidov. Since there are different spellings of my names in English, I assume that this is the closest way to write and say my name in English. Maybe one day I will be able to simplify my name and keep my first name only as Vitaly and change my middle and last names to something else.
Besides my name discovery, I found out a bit about my physical and psychological state as a baby. This is what one of the documents says about me: “The baby weighed about 4kg. He was put on the respirator at a very early stage. The baby was growing up in a slow manner. He was a little bit behind the development of other little babies that were born around the same time when Vitaliy was born.” He started to walk only when he was 1 year and 10 months old. He had some signs of disorders in his phycho system. Those signs of disorders are not seen in me today. The record continues: “The results of his health analysis has shown that by the age 3 his nervous system has tremendously improved pertaining his physical development the baby was keeping up with the peers. The biggest advantage that he had over his peers been a good and stable immune system that allowed him to overcome illnesses much easier and faster than his peers could overcome”.
I guess that the day that I was born, was my first and the last day I’ve ever spent in the hospital. Nobody should understand that I’ve never had any illnesses that would cause me to go to the hospital, but I was just strong enough to overcome them quickly and easily. Especially when the national traditional medicine was the tool for treatment, my illnesses such as cold flu and so on could easily be defeated.
When someone gets a cold or the flu I always like to tell them to do as I would have done if I was in Ukraine: get a cup of boiling hot water, put some strawberry jam in it, with a full table spoon of honey, and a little juice from a squeezed lemon. Stir it up well, and then drink it. It should be so hot, so it makes you sweat. After you’ve drunk that cup of the most delicious drink, bundle up good and go to bed to sleep. Make sure that you wrap yourself up tightly. Don’t let the heat go out, let it stay inside. Through the night, you will sweat out everything ill and be ready for the next healthy day in your life. Since you will sweat a lot, don’t forget to clean up your sheets, because I am not sure if you or your partner would want to sleep in your bed the next night. You must open windows to let fresh air in and ill air out of the room. I can witness that this principle works and you will have a peace of mind next day. I’ve tried it myself, and it worked.
This is not so much about my birth, giving me my name, my health, or even about my mom; it wasn’t so much about how many hours were spent in the hospital after my birth, as about the day spent in this wonderful world with good people around me. Maybe this was the beginning of a long journey to happy destinations, with great opportunities. This was the beginning of a long trip to happiness that couldn’t even have been imagined by me, that couldn’t have been even asked for by me.