Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me, Parts 5 and 6

Yesterday was my actual birthday. First celebrated with coworkers at the Wildberry Pancake House, and I had eggs benedict. Then my friend John took me to Italian Village, Chicago's oldest landmark Italian restaurant (open since 1927).

He also got me Barbra Streisand's coffee table book about her home -- something I love having but could not justify purchasing for myself. As he said, that makes it the perfect gift.

Things have slowed at work somewhat -- the calm before the storm. So I'm burning off some of my remaining vacation days (Wednesday through Thursday). Yea!

I say a little prayer for you

The anniversary of President Kennedy's death was yesterday, my birthday. Because this dramatic event felt like it happened to me personally, it had a tremendous impact on me. I began learning about the man who ruined my 6th birthday and came away with a hero.

From studying about JFK, I developed a lifelong love of reading and joy of discovery. I came to appreciate his dispassionate approach to conflict -- it was never personal -- even as I find myself unable to emulate it. I appreciate his appreciation of language. I admire his physical courage and his grace under pressure. I learned the valuable lesson that great men are not necessarily good men. Most of all, I admire the elegant and sophisticated way his mind worked, the way the idealism melded with pragmatism.

So amidst all the celebration of my 54th birthday, I want to take a moment to remember the man who became a part of my life on my 6th birthday and taught me so many wonderful things. It's humbling to realize God has given me more time than he got.