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Every emotion has a color that represents it. Each of us has a Life Book in our hearts. Each event in our life paints a page of that book with colors. Please, Please, Please, do all you can to make each of your pages happy, pleasant colors.

Yesterday was my oldest son’s (RJ) 19th birthday. After I got off work, I picked up my younger son, Mark (16), then off to pick up RJ and his girlfriend, Jenn.

I needed to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, so off we went. When we got to Wal-Mart, RJ and Jenn went their own way and Mark decided to shop with me.

(I have to explain something to you at this point. RJ is my independent son and Mark is outwardly independent, but has always been my touchy kid. Since he was a toddler, he has always had a habit of reaching out and briefly touching me or “accidentally” bumping into me. I have never minded it and I don’t think he is even aware he does it.)

I was in the sewing isle looking for a curved needle and some filament thread to fix our tent for camping season. I have a habit of always holding onto my shopping cart. Somehow, I feel it deters people from trying to steal my purse. So, there I stand, looking for just the right needle with my hand on the cart. Mark is standing near, reaches out, and touches my arm…ZAP…he gets shocked by static electricity. He, of course, says, ’Geez Mom!’ I am laughing. I go back to looking for the needle and thread, find the right needle, and am now checking out the thread selection when,…ZAP…he has touched me again, and again, he gets shocked. This time he says, ’Mom, you got batteries in your pocket or something!?!’ I am again laughing.

I find the right thread, put it in my cart, and we start to walk towards the sporting goods department when,…ZAP…he gets it again! He stops me and says, ’wait a minute, we are not on carpet, you are wearing tennis shoes, how are you shocking me’. He figures out that the lovely wheel that all shopping carts have these days…you know…the ones that stop your shopping cart IMMEDIATELY after you have gone past 10 feet from the front door of the store…yeah, that one…it has a short in it and has electrified the cart with just enough electricity to create a very nice shock. About this time, RJ and Jenn round the corner. Mark puts his hand on the cart and says…’RJ, come here for a second’. The unsuspecting older brother walks right into a shocking moment. Now that was funny! Mark shocks him again. That was even funnier. RJ asks how he is able to shock him like that. Mark lets go of the cart, takes a step, and begins to explain the problem with the cart. During the explanation, he reaches forward and touches his brother again…SHOCK. Aw…the shock remains with the body even when the connection to the cart is no longer…hmmmm...both boys grab the cart to charge up and then begin chasing one another up and down the isle to shock each other. By this time I am rolling!

After a few minutes of this, RJ has just recharged, and then looks at Jenn. It doesn’t take her long to see in his eyes what he is thinking. Off she goes with him close behind. Mark takes off the other way and they both catch her in the next isle. It was so much fun to watch them run and play like kids.

Well, this game got old after a few minutes. Mark and I were off to sporting goods and RJ and Jenn were again off to somewhere else in the store. We hadn’t walked far when Mark bumps into me and…SHOCK…he says, ‘thats it! I am getting a new cart. This on is going to stop my heart!’ I wait while he fetches another cart, transfers all the stuff, and says, ‘I will push!’

Mark and I did our looking in sporting goods and were headed to electronics. As we get there, we see him. RJ is playing the demo games. Mark stops, points, and says, ‘will he ever grow up?’ I said, ‘probably not, just like you won’t’. I got a smirk, but he understood what I meant. I have always told them, people get old and sad when they forget how to be a kid and have fun.

We finished our shopping and left the store. And, yes, the cart froze up and came to a screeching halt 15 feet before we got to the car. Thought I would let you know that those wheels still work, just in case you were wondering.

Once in the car I asked RJ where he wanted to go to dinner for his birthday. After many possibilities, he finally decided on the Chinese buffet. We arrive, get seated, get our food, and that is when the fun begins. Mark, who, I swear, is Jerry Lewis reincarnated, says something that makes Jenn laugh and iced tea nearly comes out her nose. He then takes this as a challenge…how many times can he make iced tea come out her nose before we leave. So needless to say, dinner was fun, I am sure Jenn’s nose is sore today, and the people in that restaurant are convinced that I have the most uncouth children on the planet!! I don't really care what other people think, I just love those times with my kids!!

We had a great 3 hours together. The color of my page was a very sunsunny yellow!!

I told you all of that, to tell you this.

RJ is currently attending the junior college in Reedley. Every morning I take him to school. I don’t mind being the taxi at all. I enjoy the time with him. Most mornings we play along with a game on one of the radio stations. They ask a mind bender question and people call in with answers. It is fun. They are questions like…”Monday is the most popular day for people to do what via text message?’ The answer was…”break up with someone”. It is a fun game. We discuss the questions, give our best guesses, then he calls the station, and gives one of our answers. He has won the game and we have tons of fun doing it.

Well, this morning was like any other morning. We are driving to the college on our normal route. Every day, on our route, we pass a telephone pole that has plastic flowers at the bottom of it. This morning as we passed, I see her, she is just standing there. She looks so very sad. She is crying.

I say to RJ, ‘is that his Mom?’ He says, ‘Yeah, and you know why she is there today? Today would have been his 19th birthday. We had several classes together both Junior and Senior year and we used to think it was so cool that our birthdays were only one day apart.’

That young man died in a car accident several months ago. No alcohol or drugs in his system…just 18, thinking he was bullet proof and made of Teflon, he was driving to fast on a country road and lost control of his car. He was a good boy and had his whole life to live.

Yesterday I spent 3 wonderful hours with my son on his 19th birthday, watching him still act like a kid and enjoy himself like he didn’t have a care in the world. Today, a mom stands on the side of a road by a telephone pole and cries over plastic flowers on her sons 19th birthday.

I never want to have a page in my book to be the color her page is today. How lost she must feel. My heart breaks for her and her sorrow.

I cried all the way to work.

Hug your kids, kiss your loved ones, tell all those you love that you love them, and be thankful you have today...regardless of what kind of today you are having...you have a today. Today may be your last chance to tell them how much they mean to you.

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