The Birthday Present

Every time I think that I have laid this website to rest, something gives me second thoughts.

Okay, okay, I doesn't take much.

The most recent occasion being July 28th when I stole and posted Rachel's blog entry "One Moment In Time" that made just a passing reference to Julie.

With the arrival of August, well, a mixture of feelings...

My mind "looked forward" to two possible posts...

One would be August 17th...Julie's birthday. This year - plus two days - will mark the successful conclusion of Julie's "final mission"...accomplished. August 19th will mark the official return of James Gibson to a teaching position in Cairo School District Number One. (James attended three District workshops on August 9th, 10th, and 11th.) Most of that post would be simple...a link to "Singin'...and Dancin' in the Rain", the July 16th edition of my union website CAT Tracks. Actually, the post will be "a second bite at the apple" - my attempt to explain why, after spending a couple of weeks writing and re-writing it, I was disappointed with my effort. (As I often lamented to Julie when I submitted my "literary efforts" to her for proofing and editing..."sometimes the words just don't flow...")

Since 2007, August thoughts of birthdays are over-shadowed by darker thoughts. Having been through the anniversary twice now, I had decided that come October 19th, I would simply note Julie's passing by reprising an earlier post...a song with the same title as Julie's never-to-be book, "Who Knew?"

But, hey...I have digressed. This post is supposed to be about...

The Birthday Present!

Today, August 12th, is my birthday.

As I have reported earlier, except for Christmas and maybe Thanksgiving, August 12th (followed closely by August 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th) was Julie's favorite day of the year. From the moment of awakening on August 12th, Julie would revel in the fact that Ronnie was six years older than Julie. This year, it would have been especially brutal...Ronnie turning 65 (complete with his Medicare card) and Julie being only 59!!!

Needless to say, I wish that I had suffered that abuse today...

However, I DID receive some signs from on high (what non-believers would dismiss as coincidences.)

This story begins with my Earthlink e-mail account dying late August 10th or early August 11th. When I tried to check my e-mail, I would get an error message that said "incoming mail server does not respond". I chose not to panic, figuring that the problem was on their end. In fact, I went to their website and found a notice that they were aware of a problem and that their technicians were working to resolve it.

August 11th turned into August 12th. Still no e-mail. (As my desperation increased during the first day, I did discovered that I could send e-mail...just couldn't receive e-mail.)

I checked the Earthlink website again and noticed that there was a posting that the e-mail problem of August 11th had been resolved. However, another check of my e-mail proved fruitless.

Okay, it's time for action!

While perusing the Earthlink website, I noticed that there was a link for "live support chat". I clicked the link...

The tech wanted to know which e-mail program I used, giving me several examples. Well, it was none of the above!

No problemo. The tech had a Plan B, directing me to Earthlink's WebMail page...a page that I did not know existed, a page that I had never seen. The tech tells me to send myself a "test e-mail" and then to check if I received it.

Turns out, it behaved just like my regular e-mail program...the "test e-mail" went, but did not return.

That's when the tech put me "on hold"...

...and that's when I received my "birthday present".

While I'm waiting, I noticed that there were two messages in the "Sent" box. One was the test e-mail and one was labeled with an e-mail address that I did not recognize. I wondered "What the hell is that?"

I clicked on the link to the e-mail...

I've taken the liberty of deleting the original message from the other person as well as anything that would identify the other person for confidentiality purposes.)


From: Julie & Ron Newell
Sent: Oct 25, 2004 2:19 PM


I agree 100%! We will probably NEVER get others to agree with our political stands, because those that we think are ignoring the facts think the same of us! People have the right to their politics, but we're never going to get everyone on the same page. Ron enjoys the debate, but not at the expense of hurting others. Maybe others don't feel that way. Anyhoo, you have the right point, it seems to me!!!!!

Julie N. '68


Why would there be one e-mail in the sent box? From October 2004? From Julie?

And...I got an honorable mention!

October 25, 2004...three years plus a day from Julie's funeral service.

Above, I indicated that I had planned on reprising a song come October 19, 2010. Well, forget that. Why wait?

The reason I was going to use the song "Who Knew" by Pink was that it gave a time frame that "If someone said three years from now you'd be long gone", focusing me on October 19, 2007 to October 19, 2010.

Well, after "receiving" today's "sign", I'm going to forget about posting anything on October 19th, 2010, back it up, and use October 25, 2004 to October 25, 2007 instead...the day after Julie's funeral service. Three years is three years.

Additional "God Winks" for my birthday enjoyment: