I ran into a senior co-worker at the coffee shop at eight this morning.

He asked, “Are you working today?”
“No, I’m off.”
“Then what are you doing up? Come on, what’s your excuse?”
“Oh, it’s not that early, I’ve been up since four thirty.”
“What?!? Why on earth would you do that?!”

I just shrugged and looked down. Of course I don’t wake up so early on purpose. The words were on the tip of my tongue, I woke up because my son died.

Because one year ago I had a healthy, happy, kicking baby (I don’t think Sacha got sick until the beginning of February, at about 36 weeks).
Because there are only a few more days that I’ll be able to think about how, one year ago, he was happy and healthy and all mine.
Because he is not here now, he is gone forever.
Bitterly, beneath it all: Because you may be older than I am, and have more professional experience than I do, but I’ve had to face more about life and sorrow and myself than you may ever learn during your lifetime.
Because work is not – and should not be, cannot be – the center of my life or the center of my identity, and my work schedule does not, cannot, dictate my personal or interior life.
Because I live in a frying pan.