This clay pot sits on a shelf in our family room, I can't help but smile when I glance at it. John's cub scout den was in charge of the centerpieces for the Blue and Gold Banquet. Imagine my surprise when John pointed his out to me. It was beautifully done…and then I saw the side of the pot that had the number "38" on it. I was puzzled. I asked John, "what does the number 38 mean". "It's your age!" John said smiling ear to ear. What???? My 38th birthday wasn't for another 6 weeks or so…I was hanging onto 37 for as long as I could! I looked around and saw that no other clay pot had a number on it. Only mine.
John loved being a scout; the kids, the projects, the den mother Judy, the camaraderie. A month after the Blue and Gold Banquet John was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery, started chemo, continued to participate in school, and in scouts. This "normalcy" was breathing life into the most "un-normal" of situations. I turned 38. Thirteen years later, when the conversation of age comes up, I still think of myself as "38", because for many reasons, that is when my life stopped being what it "was". I find these memories and reflections to be "painfully therapeutic", quite the oxymoron. Never will I forget the smile that made me smile, the quirky-ness that made me laugh and the little boy who displayed courage, bravery and was a friend to everyone he met.