My Mom sent me a letter last week. A real live, handwritten letter. It was nothing, a quick one page note with some news from home. What a joy to open an envelope with no bill inside. To hold onto a scrap of paper, see her familiar handwriting, and know that someone far away loves me. I sat at the table and read it once, twice. I could picture her sitting across from me, asking with wide eyes if I ever imagined that a quiet, book-smart girl in my grade 7 homeroom would grow up to be a burlesque dancer with her picture in the paper. I shook my head as I read her words. No, Mom. Life is full of surprises.