Thirteen. Sandy always said it was her lucky number. She would have been 46 today. And July 13 is also the anniversary of our first date. Sandy called me on her birthday in 1989 and asked me out for dinner. I almost said no, but something made me say OK. Turned out to be the smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life. So 13 has been my lucky number too.
Feeling real sad, I was going to stay home just so I could stay closer to Sandy here in our garden. But something made me get going and head out to go to work. My office is about 25 miles away. So despite the forecast for a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, I headed out on my motorcycle. (I just started riding two months ago - first time ever on a motorcycle - a story for another day. Don’t worry mom, I’ll be OK.) I was about five miles from my office when all of a sudden dark and ominous clouds rolled over the mountains to the south, coming my way. Since I figured it would only get worse as the day went on, I got to my office and turned around to head back home. Too late… about halfway back I found myself riding through a huge thunderstorm — lightning strikes all around me and pouring rain. Some of the lightning strikes were very close and thunder shook the ground. I kept riding… all the while thinking “lucky number 13″… and it’s a Friday no less.
And I was also remembering the huge thunderstorm that evening of our first date, holding each other in my house and watching the storm. We always thought that storm was a good sign for us.
As I got close to home a big lightning strike hit a mountain ridge straight in front of me. By the time I arrived safely back home smoke was rising from that spot on the ridge and helicopters were dropping water on it all day. And as it turned out, that was the only thunderstorm all day.
Riding through that storm set the tone in my heart for the rest of a sad and special day…. waves of rain… flashes of light…