We came back from lunch to an elaborate crime scene in our classroom. Our read aloud book had been “stolen,” and we were just pages from the end. It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day ten years ago.
The kids took pieces of filter paper and tested the color patterns in the three black pens that lay strewn about the room. The results of the test would determine who had left us the cryptic message on the board and which path we would take to find our beloved book. Turns out, it was in the office, a leprechaun the culprit. It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day ten years ago.
It was also the day that we celebrated having sold the most in the school fundraiser. Our PTA mom brought ice cream and root beer, and we made floats. It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day ten years ago.
It was also the day I came to visit you, just like I had everyday after school for the last month. I told you about our class prize. A root beer float sounded good to you, so Mom and I scooped you one, and I helped myself to another. Your first grandbaby did flips inside my belly, thankful for this second indulgence. It was the day before St. Patrick’s Day ten years ago.
It was a Thursday. I left for class. It was cancelled. I came back to you. The nurse was there. I drove home, went to bed. The clock rolled into Friday. I got the call. I came back to you.
We sat in the living room. We listened to your music. We filled the spaces between your breaths with stories and with laughter. It was still before dawn when the silence settled on St. Patrick’s Day ten years ago.
I will be wearing green tomorrow, but not for the reason they think. I will be celebrating , but not for the reasons they are. I will be smiling and raising a glass, but not for the reasons they do. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day.
I am participating in the ninth annual Slice of Life Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.