Heart Connections….

Our hearts are made to love others.  I don’t understand that capacity.  We meet people and before you know it, those people are no longer separate entities, but a very part of our own lives.  That is a heart connection.

This past week I have had to write to two separate friends offering some comfort in a death of someone they held dear.  One of the people I only knew in name, the other, I graduated from high school with.

Both deaths were sudden and unexpected.  It reminded me that people are here only briefly.  Memories are wonderful things to cherish. 

The woman I graduated with died while taking out her trash.  She had a heart attack and collapsed on the sidewalk beside her trash can.  A passing neighbor tried to revive her and couldn’t.  Her life was gone.  Since I am an admin for the class page on Facebook, I posted the announcement of her passing and then opened up the page for memories of time spent with her.  At last count there were over 250 people who saw the announcement and most of them remembered something about her.

I often tease my family and close friends that when I do something stupid or laugh-worthy, I have done it because I want them to remember me with laughter.  I want laughter to be a major memory of what I leave behind. 

Reading the memories of people the past couple days has only confirmed this thought in me.  Every few comments on the Facebook page has mentioned this woman’s laugh.  They mention her kindness, and the joy she brought.  I didn’t know her well, and I think I may have missed out on some happiness.  I know she brought happiness to many.  This is a good legacy.

Both of my friends are dealing with grief and sadness.  It is hard to see them through this season.  I know their hearts are hurting. 

When a loved one dies, I do think a part of our heart goes with them.  It makes it easier when it is our time to pass, as we will be rejoined with the other parts of our heart and the One who made our heart beat in the first place.

“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” (John 14:1-4. The Message)

Thanks for stopping by today.  I love your visits.   DAF

38 or 40….

Thirty eight years ago my dear hubby and I were in a wedding.  He was the best man and I was matron of honor (I was an old married woman of six months).  It was a very hot and humid day in northwestern Pennsylvania.  Being the mid 70’s the bride wore a high collared, long sleeve, poufy meringue gown that held heat in and must have acted like a sauna for the entire day.  Personally, I was cooler in my pink dotted swiss poufy gown with a matching big rimmed hat and streamers down my back… I think my friend watched Gone With the Wind way too much…  Hubby looked dashing in his white tuxedo with his pink ruffled shirt.  Yes, those pictures are fun to look at now…

This couple we had history with.  I have known the bride since kindergarten.  She had been to my birthday parties and I had been to hers.  In high school we became best friends.  We did everything together.  We would spend sleepovers and then go home and call each other.  I went on her first date with her and the man who became her husband.  ( I was dating someone else at the time).  They introduced me to my husband.  We double dated and had many adventures together.

They are godparents to our oldest daughter.  We still spend time together, although, not as much as we once did since we live in different parts of the country.

Today, on Facebook, she posted some memories of that day.  She mentioned the heat and how the hall had no air-conditioning and her wedding cake leaning like Pisa.  She fondly remembered it.  That reminded me of how she actually acted that day (which she has forgotten).  She touched my arm (she felt like she was on fire, the poor thing was so warm) and bemoaned the fact that her aunt had made her cake and look how ugly it looks with it leaning like that.  It did look a sight with each layer a different shade of pastel and the top layer starting to be parallel to the cake table.    But, I tried to tell her it was beautiful and no one would notice.

In hindsight, all things become humorous.  We were married in a blizzard, people threw snowballs at us.  But, me being me, thought that was pretty funny anyhow.  My friend fondly remembering heat that not only melted cakes, but people as well.  Time polishes things that seem so rough when they are happening.

This July we will spend a couple of nights with this couple.  We will laugh and the guys will tell the same old jokes and stories and we will laugh until we cry.  We will talk of family and cry some more.  We will try to out boast each other with  stories of grandchildren.  They will win only because they have seven and we have one.  The victor will be because of quantity not quality.   It will be a nice time to spend together.  Memories will come and be shared and it will be good to have our history relived through the older eyes of those we have known since we were young.

The reason we will be able to see this couple is that 40 years ago, I graduated from high school.  Our reunion is happening.  Thanks to Facebook I have had the experience of ‘meeting’ people I graduated with.  Two of my friends that I communicate with regularly on Facebook are going to the reunion.  It will be nice to meet them.  I say meet them because in high school they were in a much different clique than me.  They were the popular girls and through a series of mishaps we started talking to one another and discovered we had much in common and we are now anxious to see one another and put a real person to the Facebook page.   I confess there is a part of me that is a bit nervous on meeting them.  This is because even though the years have passed, age has happened and gravity has taken its toll on our bodies, I still see them in their color guard uniforms twirling and spinning and looking so beautiful.  I still remember them on the prom courts with their gowns and handsome escorts.  I see them as they were.  They are more fortunate because they don’t remember me at all.  This is an advantage, I think.

Anyhow, in preparation for the reunion, hubby and I are trying to lose a few pounds.  After all, you have to do something, right?   Going back in time is good.  It is good to see where you have come from.  It is good to see what you have survived, with grace.  It is good to see where we are now, who we are now.  It is also a good motivation to get into better shape.

So, today, I sit here.  Remembering a wedding so long ago.  Remembering friends and how we have grown up.  I look forward to seeing them and I look forward to the reunion, sort of…

Thanks for stopping by today and listening to my ramblings.  I appreciate your visits.  DAF



Love Stories

Yesterday was my niece’s third wedding anniversary. She was the second of the next generation to marry. (our youngest was the first and her love story is written about here:(“https://dearanonymousfriend.wordpress.com” title=”Once Upon a Time”>)

My niece first saw her future husband in the elevator of the building where they both worked. She referred to him as her ‘tall, dark, and handsome’. She still does. They were married in January (obviously since yesterday was their anniversary) in Indianapolis, IN. A very cold day with a few reminders of snow. She was oblivious to the cold though, as was he, they were too consumed with being married.

Saturday, my dear hubby and I are going to a wedding. We are pretty excited about it as it is our first southern wedding. The ceremony is in a church built in the 1700’s. When we first arrived here in the low country, we visited this church to see if it would be where we attended. It feels like history. Sitting there, a few years back, I looked up at the open balcony of the church. It reminded me of an old movie and my mind wandered to think of who has sat in the pews in the church, what they were doing for this country and what they were thinking. It is an incredible church. The reception is downtown Charleston. I have wanted to go to either a reception or a wedding at this hall as it was to be where our oldest was to be married before her engagement was broken. The hall is almost as old as the church and it too screams of history. I don’t know this couple’s love story, but I will be a part of it. We will be there as they say ‘I do’.

Nestled between these two days is our 38th anniversary. Tomorrow will be our anniversary. 38 years is a long time! But, our story started some 43 years ago. Yes, I was a mere child. Okay, I was in high school. We were friends before we started dating. We would talk to each other in the hall and during the summer of 1971 when he was working landscaping the school grounds (it was a new school, its first graduating class was 1968), and I was taking an art class. He would allow me access to the closed off courtyards so I could sketch things other students couldn’t get to. That was the summer we really got to know one another.

In September of 1971, we went on our first date. To the bowling alley, three games. Big date! I won one game, he won two. No, I didn’t let him win, I just am not a good bowler. He then took me home. Rod Stewart’s, “Maggie May” played on the radio. He was the first guy to ever kiss me on a first date. I thought he was fresh, pushy and was determined it was only going to be a one date thing. Yeh, right.

We dated for the next two years. As it goes in young romances, we fought, we broke up, we made up, we repeated this action, several times. He graduated in 1972. I graduated in 1973. We both went to work as neither of us could afford college and our parents weren’t the type to help us out. I made more money in my job than he did in his. This did not go over well. We fought, we broke up, and we were determined not to get back together.

We didn’t for a couple of months. I went out with my sisters one Friday night. When we returned, my disgruntled father looked at me, told me that my dear hubby had called several times for me. He then informed me that I was going to receive a call in the next few minutes and I would take it. I would also go out if he asked. I never crossed my father. So, the call came, a dinner invitation for the following Monday was issued and like the obedient daughter I was, I accepted.

Monday came. I went to work. I came home and ate a full meal. I got ready to go out. We went to a steakhouse and I ordered a very small salad and a soft drink. Yes, I am obedient, but you can’t make me do something I don’t want to do. I didn’t want to have a meal with this guy!

During dinner he told me he had joined the navy. He asked if I would date him until he left. It was eight weeks away. What’s eight weeks? Sure. No problem.

Those eight weeks changed my life. I went from a high school infatuation to actually falling for this guy. He left for the navy in late November. He was allowed to come home from boot camp at Christmas. That Christmas we got engaged. We were engaged for the next year plus a couple of weeks.

No one gave us long. Six months was the longest bet, I believe. We have surpassed that time by 37 and a half years.

Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Have I had my regrets? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Depends on what day you are talking to me.

But, when I look at this man, a little heavier, a little grayer, a bit slower in motion, I feel at home. When we hug each other, there is still a part of me that is a teenager and my heart flutters just a little. (Of course when that happens, I sometimes wonder if it is the high blood pressure, or just excitement).

We are familiar with each other. I know a hot compress helps his headaches. He knows to go out to the garage and tread quietly when I am starting to slam doors. I know he likes crusty rustic bread for his sandwiches. He knows I like onions. We know we will disagree about our dog. I spoil him and he treats him like the animal he is (the dog, not my hubby).

Since he got sick though, I have thought long and hard about him. A few weeks ago I realized that it has been a while since I actually thought of this man. I have cared for him. I have lived with him. But, I hadn’t thought of our love story. The long love story that we are daily living. I was coming home from picking some things up at the store. I was thinking of my hubby. I was praying for him, and I came to realize that although my faith and security is with our Lord, my hubby is my earthly human security. My hubby is home. In his arms I can relax.

I may struggle and argue and go through fight number 650, the one that goes this way, then that way and ends this way… (When you have been together as long as we have even fights become familiar). But, if I did not have my hubby life would not be the same. I would still look out at the pond in my yard, I would still see the sky and the sun, but I know it would not be as lovely or alive, for a part of my heart would be missing.

Love stories are wonderful things. It is fun to watch young couples meet, fall in love, get married. Romantic comedies are great movies to watch and dream about. But, my love story is at least 43 years in the making. It has been a comedy of errors, and it has been a silent movie at times. When it is all done and gone, though, I pray that my love story will serve as an example of true love, true commitment. I pray that when my family looks on our lives that they will smile and know that the foundation they had for love is a strong one, a sturdy one, that although there were cracks in it, it did not falter.

So, happy anniversary to my hubby and to me. I hope there is a love story for you to think about today. Thanks for stopping by. DAF

Accidental Planner

2013 is the 40th anniversary of my high school graduation.  Easy sentence to write, but somewhat difficult to wrap my brain around.

High School, those four years that are wonderfully horrific, and too life changing for a young person.  High School, that time when friendships are made, broken and mental images of yourself are set too often, in cement.

Talk to anyone about their high school experience and you will get an animated answer.  That is just how it goes.  You either have had a good experience or a bad one.  There are very few indifferent answers.  Facial expressions usually follow statements on high school.  Faces either light up or are contorted into shapes only favored by modern artists.

Personally, high school, for me, was alright.  I was not firmly planted in any clique.  I could be friends with those qualified as “loosers” and I could be friendly with the elite of the high school social class.  But, I was one of those people who weren’t known.  Those nameless faces in the hallway that no one could name or recognize.

This brings me to my topic today.  Somehow, I have become an accidental planner for our next class reunion.  Not a major planner, but, one who will have some input into what is going to happen.  I stumbled into it, or, I should say, backed into it quite innocently.  I have to remind myself not to do that, those eyes in the back of my head have failed me more than this time.

While on our month vacation my hubby and I had dinner with a former classmate of mine.  We had lunch together for the three years of senior high school.  Each day we would march down to the cafeteria and  eat our lunches and talk.  A friendship developed that has somehow withstood the years since our graduation.  We don’t talk often, we email occasionally, and we see each other every four or five years.  This year we have managed to see each other twice in the past four months.  The second visit being while we were waiting for our precious grandson to make his entrance.

While at dinner with this friend, we began a discussion on our class reunion.  Harmless enough, but I made the mistake of forgetting I was talking with one of the planners of all the reunions.  It was a fine conversation and I easily added my two cents.  Still not realizing what I was doing.  (They should have alarms for times like these).

So, fast  forward to this past weekend.  I am now the admin for a Facebook page for our class reunion.  Man, she is a clever planner this woman.  She got me to ‘volunteer’ doing this page and I was actually willing to do this.  I have set it up and have gotten responses on it.  Now, I have to keep it up.  Reality has started to set in.  I have to keep this going.  I have to be clever with it.  I am knee-deep in the planning of a class reunion.  How can I now wade out of this?  I think my hip waders are stuck in the muck of it all.

I can only imagine people’s response when they find out about this page.  I can see their quizzical looks when they see my name.  Who in the world is this and was she really a part of our class?  Sometimes the insecurities of high school creep up on you and you find yourself feeling 16 all over again, hope pimples aren’t the next sign.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visits.  As always, DAF