The Happiest Day Of My Life by Michael T. Smith
"Vanessa, I want to tell you a story." I wrote to my daughter.
"Many years ago I worked in an office with large windows facing a busy overpass. I was standing by one of those windows one day when a woman in a passing car looked up and made eye contact. Naturally, I waved.
"A chuckle escaped my lips as she turned and tried to identify me.
It was the beginning of a year of window antics. When things were slow, I would stand in the window and wave at the passengers who looked up. The strange looks made me laugh and stress was washed away.
"Late afternoon was the best time - rush hour traffic filled the overpass with cars and transit buses. It didn't take long to attract a following - a group of commuters who passed the window every day and looked at the strange waving man. There was a man with a construction truck who would turn on his flashing-yellow light and return my wave, the carpool crowd, and the business lady with her children fresh from day care. But my favorite was the transit bus from the docks that passed my window at 4:40 PM. It carried the same group every day, and they became by biggest fans.
"Christmas approached, and job cuts were announced. Several co-workers would lose their jobs, and everyone was feeling low. Stress in the office reached a high. A miracle was needed to repair the damage caused by the announcements.
"While working a night shift, a red lab jacket attracted my attention. With a little imagination, tape, and white foam packing material, I fashioned a crude Santa suit.
"The next working day I hid from my co-workers, slipped into the costume, walked bravely to my desk, sat down, held my belly, and mocked Santa's chuckle, as they gathered around me laughing. It was the first time I had seen them smile in weeks. Later my supervisor walked through the door.
He took three steps, looked up, saw me, paused, shook his head, turned and left.
"I feared trouble. The phone on the desk rung a few moments later, 'Mike, can you come to my office please?' I shuffled down the hall, the foam beard swished across my chest with each step.
"'Come in!' the muffled voice replied to my knock. I entered, and sat down. The foam on the beard creaked, and he looked away from me. A bead of sweat rolled down my forehead, the only sound was the hammering of my heart. 'Mike...' This was all he managed before he lost his composure, leaned back in his chair, and bellowed with laughter. He held his stomach, and tears formed in his eyes, as I sat silent and confused. When he regained control, he continued, 'Mike, thanks! With the job cuts it has been hard to enjoy the Christmas season. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.'
"I didn't know it then, but a bond was forming between my fans and I. It wasn't until the spring following the Santa act that I discovered how close we had become.
"Your mom and I were expecting our first child that spring - this would be you of course - and I wanted the world to know. Less than a month before the birth I posted a sign in the window, '25 DAYS UNTIL B DAY.' The next day the sign read, '24 DAYS UNTIL B DAY.' Each day the number dropped, and the passing people grew more confused.
"One day a sign appeared in the bus, 'What is B DAY?' I just waved.
The next night I spelled it out for them 'Baby Day.' My fans understood, and every night they watched to see if your mom had given birth. Excitement grew as the number decreased.
My fans were disappointed when the count reached 'zero' without an announcement. The next day the sign read, 'BABY DAY 1 DAY LATE,' and I pretended to pull out my hair.
"When your mom was fourteen days overdue she went into labor, and the next morning our you were born. I left the hospital at 5:30 AM, and drove home to sleep. I got up at noon, and appeared at my window in time for my fans. My co-workers made an 'It's A Girl!' banner and joined me in the window.
"We stood and waved our cigars in the air, as every passing vehicle acknowledged your birth. Finally, the bus from the docks made its turn onto the overpass and began to climb the hill. When it drew close, I climbed onto the window ledge and clasped my hands over my head. The bus was directly in front of me when it stopped dead in heavy traffic, and every person on board stood with their hands in the air.
"Emotion choked my breathing, as I watched them celebrate your birth. Then it happened: a sign popped up. It filled the windows and stretched half the length of the bus, 'CONGRATULATIONS!'
"Tears formed in my eyes as the bus slowly resumed its journey. I stood in silence. More fans passed and tooted their horns or flashed their lights to display their happiness. I hardly noticed them, as I pondered what had just happened.
"You had been born fourteen days late. Those people must have carried that sign for two weeks. Everyday they unrolled it and then rolled it back up, waiting for your arrival.
"It's been more than twenty years since that special time, but on your birthday I always remember the special gift they gave me.
"Vanessa, throughout your life, keep a smile on your face and a wave in your heart.
Michael T. Smith copyright 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael works in the telecommunications industry and writes in his spare time. He lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey with his lovely wife Ginny and his son. Michael's stories come from his heart and reach to yours.