This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:
My most memorable birthday was in the year 1963. It fell on a Friday. I was in first grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. Kroch.
In honor of my special day, I got to pass out a carefully selected treat: milk chocolate discs individually wrapped in red and black foil so they looked like lady bugs.
My little celebration was interrupted by the loudspeaker. It wasn't our principal, Miss McCann. It was a scratchy radio broadcast that I couldn't understand. Mrs. Kroch seemed confused and upset and sent a classmate next door to “see if it's true." We kids didn't know what "it" was.
I realize now that, at this point, no one knew JFK was dead, but he had been shot. The teachers conferred in the hall and then we were all sent home – not just for lunch but for the whole day. I don't remember what we were told, but what amazes me about this decades later is that (1) we all walked to and from school, no one got a ride, and (2) the school was confident that we each had a stay-at-home mom who would be there waiting for us.
When I got home, my mom was sitting on the coffee table, staring at the TV and crying. I remember that she was sitting on the table because we got scolded for doing that. I think she wanted to be as close to the TV as possible.
Still, I'd never seen my mother cry like that before so I kept quiet. She was scaring me. There was something very wrong in my world.