Amber’s Story

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The Greatest Commandment

Well it's my birthday today, and while I often tell of family's birthdays, I usually don't tell of my own.  But this one is different, so that I may share a story.

I'm known to work a little late from time to time, but this doesn't happen nearly as often as it did in my younger days.  It's a chance to get caught up without the phones ringing and it is a peaceful time of the day.  On Thursday it was coming up on 6pm and I asked my assistant why she, too, was staying a bit later that night.  She said "Since your birthday is on Saturday, I'm waiting for you to get out of here so I can decorate your office for when you come in on Friday" (twinkle).  "Ah, okay, I'll get out of here" (smile).

So arriving Friday morning, my office was laced with banners and party hats.  Panera pasties and bagels lined the credenzas outside, and on my door was a large Post-It note:

Hi Craig - I see it must be your birthday and wanted to wish you a very Happy Birthday!  Hope you have a good day.  Thanks for being good to me.  - Your cleaning person, Mike.

It took the speed of sound for me to think back 10 years ago.  I was standing next to Kayla's bench at her high school.  It was newly installed after a fundraiser, when the community wanted to remember Nick and Kayla with memorial benches.  On each are granite insets with the children's picture and a scripture verse.  It was about six months after the accident and I was still trying to claw out of the depth of grief.  Three school janitors were walking along the stadium fence, spearing litter and collecting it into garbage bags, as they made their way towards me and into the school.  The last one appeared to have some sort of mental disability and stopped in front of Kayla's bench, not making eye contact with me, but probably figuring out who I was was.  He pointed at her picture and said:

She alway good to me.  I will remember.  Alway good to me.  Alway.

He then walked on, again without looking at me.  I will always remember this conversation and in turn, it always reminds me of what is scrawled at the top of one of the pages in Kayla's bible: "God first. Others second. Me last."  She knew the order of the greatest commandments.

I call these 'Jesus' moments because this memory - 10 years later - gave me an awesome birthday present today.

Craig