During my 10th year under the light of the sun, I decided there could be no better age to be. A child no more, I had two proud digits to express the number of my longevity. Without regret, I left the children’s menu behind when ordering food at restaurants. I had reached the pinnacle of my existence.
The seemingly sturdy boat of my being seemed a great seafaring ship compared to the simple and trembling raft of my earlier self. The fickle waves and storms brought by the winds of puberty had not yet wrestled with me, and I had not the sense to fear them.
I kept a diary that year, though not with any faithfulness. I barely filled a handful of pages within the tiny notebook. Yet I sincerely wanted to record summaries of my days. I would be a famous poet and novelist someday, and people would want to know my tale.
With the boldness of innocence, I confided to my diary on July 8, 1984: “Today is Sunday (and) this morning I went to Mass. Today they talked about sainthood and so I am going to try to be a saint. Don’t you tell, okay?”...