Today had all the makings of one of the worst birthdays of my life. It didn't start well. Jenny wrote a very touching post that I read right before I went to work and all I wanted to do was hold Lila. I planned on taking a half day at work so I could spend more of the day with Jenny. On my way home, I blew an obviously red light and happened to do so in front of a cop. He pulled me over a mile down the road and I was cursing myself. I thought of how great my 32nd birthday was turning out. He asked if I knew why he pulled me over. I mentioned the red light and the officer said that it was green for him so he knew it was red for me. I told him it was my birthday and that today was not going well because Lila was gone. He let me off and told me to be more careful out there. So I think Lila pulled a few strings for me there.
The afternoon was uneventful. Did some housework to pass the time. My mom came into town and took us out to dinner in Market Square. We went to a nicer restaurant and it wasn't too crowded. About halfway through dinner, Jenny spotted someone at the entrance that she thought looked like Sidney Crosby. I looked and, at first, thought it wasn't him, not at a restaurant we go to. The guy was wearing a hoodie and a black hat. He was with a friend and sat at the bar about 15 feet from us. Jenny and I were looking at him and eventually decided it was him, with about 95% certainty. I had to go up to him. It was my birthday. Jenny had a spare Lila stone. It was too perfect. I got up the nerve, walked over and said "Hey Sid, my name is Mike." He was apprehensive at this point because he probably had no idea what I was going to do or say. I said "I just wanted to wish you good luck this season." I pulled out the Lila stone and said "Our daughter died in February and we had these stones made with her name on them. They are meant to bring people good luck and I wanted you to have one." He warmed up a bit and said thanks and that was nice. He put the Lila stone in his pocket. I can't remember if I shook his hand or not as I left but Sid the Kid has a blue Lila stone in his possession. This made my day. We talked about what we'd do if we saw someone like Sid but never thought we'd actually see him in person. I didn't take a picture with him because no one else really noticed who he was and I didn't want to blow his cover because he deserves his privacy too.
This birthday could have been horrible but I have a feeling that Lila pulled at least a few strings for me to make this day bearable and memorable for me. We called some friends who are fans and it was fun telling them our experience. It's still crazy that we actually ran into the classiest Pittsburgh sports star. It made my 32nd birthday very memorable and special. Thanks for looking out for Daddy, Lila. - Mike
[Below is a picture of me holding the blue Lila stone right before I gave it to Sid.]