By Janet Paschal
For my birthday this year, I chose to eat at a local sandwich shop and to go bowling with the family. The sandwich shop is locally owned and everything is homemade and amazing. None of us bowl, so I thought we would probably laugh a lot. There were eight of us: my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, his wife, John, and I. The ‘aha moment’ came during game 3. We had rented 2 lanes side-by-side; the men used one and the ladies the other. We literally laughed until we hurt. No one seemed anxious, even ready, to go home. I was with the people I most love, leaning against a chair when it occurred to me: at that moment, my mom and dad were both standing up, bowling ball in hand, ready to roll (or, in my mom’s case, toss.) While many of my friends are without one or both parents, mine were still here, still healthy and willing to bowl three games. It was a wonderful revelation to me, a poignant reminder of just how rich I am. I am grateful for every second of that night: every gutter ball, every frustrated shriek, and every time someone said, ‘This is fun.’ That was what made it fun for me. That, and the sandwiches.