Monday, December 15, 2008


At dinner K told me that Andy, his childhood friend, had e-mailed him a photo today.

In the photo, K had an enormous black eye.

Andy's e-mail had said,

"How'd you get that black eye?"
To which K wrote back,

"I can't believe YOU are asking me that, Andy!"

"Why?" I asked, "What happened?"

"I've told you this story," K said.

"What story?" The Mayor and The Rooster chimed in.

"When I was in fourth grade, I was on a baseball team," K started.

"When you were MY age?" The Mayor clarified.

"No, not when I was FOUR, when I was in fourth GRADE."

"How old were you in fourth grade, Dad."

"Um... I was nine... like Theo. So I was on a baseball team..."

"Theo is ten, Dad."

"Do you want me to tell the story?"
The Mayor nodded.

"Okay then... When I was in fourth grade, I was on a baseball team."
"You were NINE."

"That's right. I was playing second base and my friend Andy was playing third base."

"Theo is ten."

"I know that, Mayor."

"Tell the story, Dad!" The Rooster shouted.

"The coach was hitting balls and we were practicing in the field. The coach hit one that went past the outfielder, who had to go get it. In the meantime, the coach started a second ball, so I was watching the coach at home plate. Suddenly I heard Andy scream my name from third. I turned and the ball hit me right in the eye."

"Did he throw it at you?"

"No, the outfielder was throwing the ball home. Andy was trying to warn me because it was coming straight for me. I guess if I hadn't turned towards him the ball would have hit me in the back of the head and given me a concussion."

"A concussion?"
[K skipped right over that one.]

"My eye swelled shut and stayed that way for seven days," K told them.

"When I went to mass on Sunday, Monsignor Skelly looked out over the congregation and said, 'There's a little Irish boy here named K and
he's got the best shiner I've ever seen'
K stopped going to church when he was sixteen, after his father died.

Years later, when K heard Monsignor Skelly's health was failing, he went to hear him say mass once more.

The Monsignor looked out over the congregation and said,

"There's a young man with us tonight that I haven't seen in a long time. I remember a day when he was just a boy when he came to mass with the best shiner I've ever seen. I want to welcome him home."

Today is K's birthday.
Happy Birthday, my love.


Stella said...

Happy Birthday!

I love this story. It makes me sad when I hear of someone not going to church anymore. I do not try to change their mind or make them go. It is their choice and everyone has the right to make any choice for any reason.
This story was wonderful and I am so very glad that you shared it. It's priests and statements like that that keep me going.

Happy Birthday!

K and/or K said...

Happy Birthday K!

This is a great lesson in not only what age you are in a certain grade, but of a kind man's memory!

Marmite Breath said...

Happy Birthday to a luscious park ranger impersonator. ;)

Camikaos said...

Why was I crying by the endbof this post?

Happy birthday to K.

Jennifer said...

Tears at the end there.
Happy birthday, K.

Penny said...

I love this story. Brought tears to my eyes. God bless little boys with shiners in and out of church.

John Ross said...

Great story & well told. Today is also my oldest Brother's birthday.
Happy Birthdays K. & G.

flutter said...

Happy Birthday, K! Thanks for making my friend a very happy woman

Theresa said...

Happy birthday K. May you have a blessed year with your amazing family.

Vodka Mom said...

happy, happy birthday, K.

mo.stoneskin said...

And has K remained "home" ever since?

-The Shiny Happy Mama- said...

Happy birthday, K!

WILLIAM said...

That is a great story.

Anonymous said...

I hope K has a wonderful birthday!!!

furiousBall said...

I swear the Mayor was in a meeting I was in yesterday

Leah said...

I hope K has a great birthday!!! What an impression he made. May God bless your family.

Sugarplum's Mom said...

Happy Birthday K!

Gretchen said...

Love the story and Happy Birthday!

FWIW - You don't have to answer every question your child asks.

Otherwise - that's all, and I do mean all, I would do.

Patois said...

You weave a story so well. I am supremely jealous.

Maggie said...

Happy Birthday K!

That was the coolest story I've heard in a long time.

Little Nut Tree said...

Happy birthday K

I loved that story - makes me get that warm feeling that only a feel-good 'coming of age' movie normally does..! You know like Stand By Me or something along those lines.

Hope you had a great day!

Travis Erwin said...

Very cool story. Awesome that the Monsignor remembered that.

Redneck Mommy said...

I love that story. LOVE it.

Happy Birthday K. You are a lucky man. I know this for a fact. Since I've seen every naked inch of your wife you have.


Anonymous said...

Very sweet. Happy Birthday, K!

Rockzee said...

You have the gift of story telling. I see that it's a family thing. Happy Birthday K.

Karly said...

I'm not sure what happened, but I was crying when I got to the end of that post.