Well, the turning of 27 was an interesting one. Probably the most exciting thing that happened was a call from a guy named Russ in Colorado who wished me Happy Birthday. Unfortunately our mutual friend chose to remain "anonymous." Why? I don't know. Who knows a guy named Russ who lives in Colorado? Big Phil? Wee One? I have no idea.
The day itself started off great. Mom called at 7am. Michelle, Joy and Rachel called at 7:30. "Happy New Year's!" Michelle hollered. "No wait. Wait. I mean, Merry Christmas! No that's not right. I've got it this time . . . Happy Fourth of July!"
My boss at school had a present waiting for me at her desk when I arrived at 8:30. She is one of the most giving people I know. She keeps quarters at her desk for kids who come by asking for money. And candy by her door. I love it.
But that's about where the cheer ended.
At lunch, I learned that a year and a half ago my boss lost her oldest son to an infection that ate his heart. After diagnosis, he was gone in six weeks. His birthday was May 3rd. He would have been 28. She said she'd been meaning to talk to me about it. "I was raised in the church," she told me. "I used to believe in God. I don't anymore."
She cried and I cried and then the bell rang and I cried some more when my 4th period hellians about pushed me over the edge.
Life has peaks and plateaus, beauty and bitterness. How to manage the paradox of it all is the question I wrestle with now.