Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Flashback: Feeling Fourteen Fifty Years Later

Friday Flashbacks are sponsored by my friend Anne Glamore over at My Tiny Kingdom. (Link on right side of this page.)

My teens were definitely not the happiest time of my life. If my friend Barbara is correct about reincarnation, I hope I return as a life form for which adolescence is a non-event. This pic is from my brief stint as a member of the in crowd...the cheerleaders!

This week I decided to step out on Facebook and find my own friends instead of piggybacking on my children’s connections. And lo and behold…I found a site for my high school class! There were only a couple of people on it when I found it, but I knew them, so I sent them a short note and asked them to be my friend. When they responded, you would have thought I suddenly had a prom date. Now there are a few more.

Anytime I happen on a connection from the past I’m a little hesitant…okay, a lot hesitant…about how to pursue it. I’m still hanging out on the fringes of the cool kids, not wanting to seem too intrusive, but really, really wanting to know how their lives turned out.

Do we have more in common than we did in the sixties? Has anyone else had a child with a disability? (I know of two, but there may be others.) Do they worry about their retirement plans or have bad knees or hips? Who has had cancer and survived? Who is still married to their high school sweethearts…or their second or third forever love? Is anyone single who might like to meet one of my single friends? Nah, even I wouldn’t touch that one. Who is no longer with us? Regrettably, two from this photo.

I’m realizing that I crave more connection than I used to, and I hope some of my long lost cyber friends will still care what happened to me. Maybe someone will want to share memories of prank calls and sneaking out at night to meet boys in the back yard or floating on an innertube at Lake Martin for hours on end hoping someone would come by in a boat and offer a ride. Who has my memories?


Thursday, February 19, 2009


The one thing that confirms my faith every single year is the arrival of Spring. We’ve already had a few warmer days in Memphis and the daffodils are showing sunny faces, the Forsythia and Quince are dancing and the Tulip Poplar is about to bust out. I walked down the block yesterday and noticed that many of my neighbors pansies are thriving. I didn’t get any out this year, but enjoying theirs is free and didn’t require any digging.

It has been a bleak winter in many ways, a winter of recuperation physically and spiritually with three deaths in our family. This month is the anniversary of my mother’s death, probably the most difficult one of all for me even after all these years. I love it that she died in winter, because I believe that just as winter can’t hang around forever, neither can grief. Spring comes, babies are born, cousins get married, we sit around with friends talking about good times and making new memories. Life goes on.

We are sprung too. Alleluia!

I think I’ve learned to remind myself, at least most of the time, that Spring always follows Winter. I hope I’ll learn to appreciate the things I can do during those bleak winter months and use them productively because it’s kind of a shame to waste time wishing for what’s going to come our way anyhow.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Did It

I have just spent thirty minutes figuring out how to insert my picture on Facebook. It’s not like I love this picture, but the sketches they provide if you don’t provide one are kind of creepy. This task involved saving something on my desktop and everything, and I did it. You would think I were a three year old who has finally learned to use the potty.

Will I remember how to do it next time? Hope I won’t have to. This pic is the one I selected for my obituary a couple of years ago when I was undergoing a really touchy surgery. I lived, and hope no one needs this picture anytime soon. It looks enough like I did when I was younger so that people of my generation will at least recognize me, and enough like I look now that my grandchildren will too. I’ll try to come up with a new one every ten years or so, but his one is it until further notice.

I rarely browse Facebook, in fact, really don’t quite get it. I’m not sure why anyone would want to know what acquaintances of their friends and relatives are doing, but I’m sure there’s some logic behind it. My friends have my e-mail address and blog readers can easily find me by Googling my name and leave a comment on my blog. (I REALLY love having comments by the way!)

Actually, the more I think about it, maybe I do get Facebook after all. It’s a pretty easy way to reconnect. I never turn down anyone who asks to be my friend so if you do facebook, I'd love to be your friend. The magical carpet of the internet has happily connected me with people that I thought were lost but now are found, at least in cyberspace. I love that.

I hope I always treasure family and friend connections, even when they involve doing something hard.


Monday, February 9, 2009

So How are We Doing With That

A couple of weeks ago at a “no-kids allowed” family dinner in a nice restaurant, my son-in-law John got on my case. He had me laughing so hard at myself that I almost spewed wine out of my nose.

He has noted that I often end my blog with “I hope….”, which I readily explained that was my way of offering a kind of ecumenical prayer. He has promised to keep me accountable by tallying up how many of my hopes come to fruition.

There will be some that will be obvious. If I actually spend as much time making my yard beautiful without the threat of a large party looming over my head, we’ll all know it. If I actually have people over more often, even for a casual meal, it will be obvious. The less visible ones like reading more than playing computer games…maybe not so much.

There will be some things that nobody knows about but the Walkers and me. If I gripe less about Dad expecting the dish fairy, they will know. Little Walker will respond with increased anxiety…his dad, probably not.

Everyone is noticing that I’m walking better, which should only improve with the weather and further rehab of my knee. I’ve actually taken a couple of the kids to Walmart or a movie just because it sounded like fun instead of being guilt ridden over how many hours they watch TV when they’re at my house. I think I’m doing okay so far.

I hope John, and I, will cut me some slack if I don’t realize all my hopes and dreams. Now that I know he’s watching, he has become another instrument of change. I hope most of the changes are for the better.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Family Ties

The last few days have been an interesting jumble of images and feelings. We lost another of our dear uncles. Uncle Jimmy was over ninety and had lived a long and productive life. Since his wife died a few years ago, he had prayed every night that he would just wake up in heaven with Bootsie. His prayers finally came to fruition.

My husband’s relatives came from far and wide for the funeral, disregarding the disruption to their normal routine of an unexpected death, dropping everything to support each other through one more passage. There was a new baby to oooh and aaah over, and two engagements to celebrate. Everyone was so happy to be together that the sadness was kind of overshadowed.

Some old grievances were put aside and ties were bound tighter as we honored Uncle Jimmy and celebrated his life with a beautiful service in my childhood church followed by Honeybaked Ham and caramel cake. There has already been talk of a “guys retreat” to honor the new head of the family, the last living member of the older generation. Time together becomes precious when you realize that next time just might not happen.

Walker declined to go with us, and I didn’t insist, because travel is simpler without accommodating his schedule and quirks. He was fine at home with his attendant taking him out and his sisters helping out. His laundry got done on time, and he found one more pack of Polaroid film as he shopped.

Just before we left, Walker came to the kitchen and asked that I deliver a message to Sister and Lucy.

“Tell Sister and Lucy that their father will always be alive as long as he lives in their hearts. Now you tell them that, okay?”

I did, and I think they’ll remember it when they are feeling their loss. I know I will.