From the Los Angeles Times…11-11-11…by Deborah Netburn
Happy 11-11-11, everyone!
No matter how much thought you’ve given the numerical significance of Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 (11-11-11), we suggest that Aziz Inan, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland, has thought about it more than you have.
In an email missive, Inan explains that 11-11-11 is a once-in-a-century repunit palindrome day. If you’ve never heard of the word “repunit”, it means a number such as 11, 111, or 1111 that contains only the digit 1.
Furthermore, he explains that 111111 equals the product of two palindrome numbers written as 111111=111 x 1001.
He points out that, this year, the month of November has been rich with palindrome days including 1-1-11 (another repunit day), 11-2-11, 11-3-11, 11-4-11, 11-5-11, 11-6-11, 11-7-11, 11-8-11, 11-9-11 and coming soon — 11-22-11.
You may have already surmised that after this Friday, the next time 11-11-11 will occur is 100 years from now in 2111.
I do not understand much about the preceding article, but I know EXACTLY why 11-11-11 is such a significant day…
It is my middle son’s birthday!!!
Yes, today, the sweetest son any mother could have, is turning 30. It can’t be possible, can it? How can 30 years have past since this gentle soul came into our lives? From the very beginning, Alex always had the sweetest temperament. Smart as can be, and twice as clever, he had as his willing accomplice his younger brother, Ian. While Alex always tried hard to obey, he had no qualms about thinking of things that COULD be done and convincing Ian that it would be great fun. Ian, on the other hand, obeyed if it suited him at the time, and willingly took his punishment in exchange for being able to do as he pleased…and as his older brother pleased! Those 2 were quite the pair. Born 20 months apart, they were as different as night and day…but loved each other fiercely. Along with their older brother Adam, who was 7 when Alex was born, they were brothers and enemies on alternating days!
[Alex does not have crossed eyes or a ‘wonky’ leg as it appears here! He always did this in pictures when he was young.]
This little incident, captured on film, was probably Adam’s idea to get his brothers to help him push that heavy lawn mower. Oh those boys!
But, today is about Alex. I have trouble writing this because my eyes keep filling with tears. I love this young man so much, and I feel as if I fail him so often. Alex is so kind and gentle and patient and loving…and all the while his life is filled with pain from morning to night. It is so rare to hear him complain…He takes each day and gets through it as well as he can. Very rarely is he able to leave the house, but does his best to get up and speak to each person who comes to our house.
I do not know why God has allowed Alex to suffer so much and I don’t know why it is that we can not find any better help for him. I don’t know why he has to be the one to suffer this horrid disease, and I don’t know why no doctor has come upon a treatment for it. I don’t know why his life has been destined to be lived in such a restrictive manner and I don’t know how he continues day after day after day…after day.
But, I do know that one day we will know why. One day it will all be clear. One day he will be able to run and jump and roll around with Finn and Scooter…and maybe even chase his brothers again. One day, God will make his suffering a thing forgotten…and there will be a shining light in his eyes. I will be there to see it, as will all of his family.
But, until then, our prayer is that his life will serve to remind others not to take anything or anyone for granted. If you can walk down the driveway to the mailbox, thank God. If you can run across the yard with your dog, thank God. If you can join friends and go to a movie or out to eat, thank God. If you can take a road trip with your brothers, be thankful. If you can get together with friends and laugh about old times, be grateful. If you feel like celebrating your birthday with a party and cake and ice cream and friends and family and presents…do it. And make a wish for those who can’t.
You are my sunshine, Alex. I’m thankful God sent you to us. You inspire me to be a better person. I love you.