In my mind
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2002-09-03 07:44:58 (UTC)

Introduction, Part 1: Foundation and Disaster

--The "Introduction" segments of my diary may seem a little
boring, as they summarize my life up to its present state.
If you are more interested in the nitty gritty of my day to
day life than the journey which brought me here, then I
would advise you to skip these segments. Otherwise, read
on and enjoy!-----------------------------------------------

I am today starting my diary. I neither know whether I
will be able to continue regularly with this nor whether my
entries will be useful to anyone else. What I do know is
this: if I don't lay everything out, then you will never
know of me; you will never see the world as I see it; and
my story will be left to die, along with all those memories
that I failed to record at an earlier time. So, without
further ado, I will introduce myself.
My name is Peter Downing Borum. I was named after the
apostle who denied Jesus thrice in the New Testament, but
who later became one of his greatest missionaries and was,
ultimately, crucified (upside down, in fact, due to his
conviction that he was unworthy to die in the same manner
as his Lord). Downing is my mother's maiden name. I can
think of no more honorable a name than this, for I share it
with her and her parents, the three of which have been my
foundation as a man of character and integrity. Borum is
Dutch and of little significance.
I was born May 15, 1984 in Louisville, KY to two
schoolteacher parents, the fourth in a family of five (it
would later include two other siblings, but more on this
soon). My first three years were pretty unremarkable. I
have an extraordinary memory and recall many of the
seemingly mundane occurances of these early years. I
cherish these memories, however, for they are the only ones
I have of my father. On August 29, 1987, he passed away.
By some sad, ironic chance, it was my mother's
birthday. He was doing some landscaping; more
specifically, he was removing a large fallen tree from the
forest behind our house. Unknowingly, he chained the trunk
to his tractor and began to pull. Sadly, some of the roots
were still embedded deep within the ground, and the tractor
flipped backwards onto him. I watched all this. I saw the
accident, saw my brother run down the street to get help
(he would blame himself for Dad's death, believing that if
he had only run faster he might have made a difference),
watched as my mother tried unsuccessfully to administer CPR
(she had only days before finished the course, evidence
that her skills would have been fresh enough to save him if
possible). Finally, I dropped the toy I held dumbly and
ran inside. I screamed at one of my other brothers and my
sister, "Dad's dead! Dad's dead!" As I recall it, neither
of them believed me, despite my tears and agitation.
The truth was, however, that Dad really was dead. The
paramedics would later say that had the accident taken
place right outside the hospital, the outcome would have
been the same. And so I lived on, without a father, with a
widow for a mother, and without much optimism. But it's
harder to break the wills of people than you might
believe. And we were just getting started...

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