Memories that shape us...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lovemysons, May 22, 2009.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Mrscatinthehat (Beth) got me to thinking back on some of my own life experiences with people that briefly touched my life but made a longlasting impact.

    I was reflecting back to a time when I was around 4-5 years old. It was 1969-70, small town in Oklahoma.

    My mother worked at Head Start where I attended. I had 2 best friends...Melodie and Shadonna. We loved to play together at recess. Melodie was my favorite friend. She had such a warm happy smile. I knew she genuinely Liked me...was never for sure of Shadonna did though, cause Shadonna didn't talk as much mostly watched me while Melodie and I played. But I considered both of them my good friends.

    One day I asked my mom if Melodie could spend the night at our house. I was an only child and it was just my mom and I, no dad, and having a friend meant so very much to me.

    My mom must have checked with Melodie's mom. I remember we were in the car when she told me..."Melodie's mom said Melodie could not spend the night." "Why?" I needed an answer and all I got was, "Her mom said that we live on one side of the railroad tracks and they live on the other".

    I don't remember when I first learned of the word "predjudice" but I do know that THAT day this world and the adults in it became somewhat strange to me, confusing, ya know.
    Something was wrong with the thinking in this world.

    Interestingly enough...years later, when I was a teenager primping in a theater bathroom, a young woman was watching me. I kinda got alittle bothered but didn't say anything. I mean, why was she staring at me?
    Eventually she spoke. She asked me if she could ask my opinion about something. I was kinda of surprised and relieved. She asked me what I thought about her being a black woman going out with a white guy? I really stopped, ya know...wanted to give a thoughtful answer. I asked her if he was as nice as any black guy she'd go out with? Did he treat her well? Was he kind, etc? She smiled and answered, Yes. I told her..."then I don't see a problem, I hope you guys are happy together". She smiled and thanked me.

    Isn't it interesting the types of situations we come across and how meaningful we are to each other even if very briefly touching one another's lives.

    Thought this might be a good opportunity to share some of the stories of people that briefly came into our lives and made such a huge impact on us...shaped who we are and how we think.

    What are your stories?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know that I had something like that happen. I really cant remember much of my childhood in detail. It is just snatches and small video clips in my mind.

    One thing I remember is I was in this chorus class in junior high that anyone could take even if you couldnt carry a tune in a bucket was that for a concert my teacher had me learn the Theme from Love Story and we played that as a duet. Back then I played piano rather well...not extremely well or anything but I had taken lessons since I was six. And I liked playing. Unfortunately my parents sold my piano when they divorced and I have never been able to afford another one. I would love to be able to play again.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Janet, it's too bad you're so far away. My parents have an old antique upright that originally was bought by my grandfather from a honky-tonk in New Mexico. We've been trying to get someone to take it off our hands for 10 years!

    Back on topic... When I was 4, a couple with a little girl my age moved in next door. She and I became very, very good friends. I think she was 6 or 7 when her parents divorced (UGLY divorce, made husband & BM's look civil). K moved to Waco and I lost my best friend! Fortunately she came to visit her Dad about once every two months and every summer so we stayed in touch. Even after I moved to Ohio. I remember babysitting her little brother (who committed suicide 2 years ago).

    ANYWAY, this whole thing made me SWEAR I would never get a divorce because of what it does to the kids. Now, I did divorce my X, but no kids. And I see first hand what it's doing to the difficult children.

    K married her HS sweetheart, they have 3 kids now. And this weekend I got a HS graduation announcement from her oldest... Yes, we are STILL friends...
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    In October 2001 I was walking in the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. It was the third day, I was walking and talking, meeting lots and lots of people, and anyway I came upon this bald lady. We began to talk, she was young and so was I. She asked me to do her a favor and walk the rest of the way with her, she was walking at a snails pace. She wanted to finish. Her cancer had recently spread to her liver and she was in the midst of chemo again. She was ill. Cancer was an issue for me as well, having been diagnosed 9 months previous. We became fast friends. We lived a whole lives worth of a friendship in one day. We laughed, we cried, we finished last, and she taught me so much about life that day. I will NEVER forget her, I recently ran in a breast cancer race thing and her name was, and always will be on my back- as someone I run in memory of. She passed away shortly after I met her, this beautiful young mother of 3 babies.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    There was a girl named Paula in jr high. She was there in 7th & 8th grade. She never spoke to anyone... she was afraid of her own shadow. She left sometime during 9th grade. I tried asking my friends what had happened to her, but no one knew her well enough to know. Most hadn't even noticed she was gone

    I was incredibly saddened by this... someone out of the 400+ students should have befriended her (me included). I've thought of her often over the years.
  6. fuddleduddledee

    fuddleduddledee New Member

    When I was 12, I spent some time in a children's hospital, some of it in traction. I required hip surgery to fix my femur which had stopped growing and had slipped out of the hip joint. I was in a hospital ward four beds in the room. I remember some of these other girls and their courage and strength. I don't remember their names or faces but I remember them.
    The one that changed my life forever was a girl who hardly spoke. Hardly had any visitors.

    About a week fter my surgery, the doctor arrived and with a smile told me I could go home. I was so excited about being allowed to go home! Then, he told me that I would have to remain in bed for another six weeks, and then, I would require crutches for another six weeks. I was devasted but held it together till he left the room. After he left the tears started rolling down my face. I couldn't stop crying. I was so dissapointed about not being able to go back to school, to ride my bike and get on with the normal business of being a child. From the corner of the room came a voice "why are you crying"? the girl from the other corner asked. I told her it was because I wouldn't be able to walk for weeks. She said to me, "I've never been able to walk, I have muscular dystrophy and I use a wheelchair". That girl, whose name I never knew, made me realize that whatever happens to you, however bad it gets there is always someone whose life or circumstances are worse than yours. This was a real life lesson learned at a young age that has stayed with me for forty years now.
  7. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh, thank you all so much for sharing in this is clear that you too have been impacted by people that touched your lives even if for just a brief time.

    I think it is wise to keep in mind how meaningful we are to each other...and how situations can present themselves and become profound life lessons.

    Thanks again for sharing your stories,
    with love,
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I am touched almost everyday by the students that I teach. One in particular comes to mind. Jermaine was a nice looking, well dressed young man. He lived with his elderly grandfather in a small "house" if that's what you want to call it. His grandfather was very sick. He dies the year Jermaine was a junior. He was 17--too old to place, too young to be on his own. The school took him in---teachers, other parents all helped him make it through the rest of his junior year and his senior year. He came to school every day. He was polite, cheerful, and so thankful for everything. He had every reason in the world not to do well, but he had such a desire to succeed that he amazed me.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    In the summer of 1972, I ran through the plate-glass storm door at the front of our house, and carved my leg up very badly.

    The 2 paramedics who arrived with the ambulance to take me to the Children's hospital seemed a bit taken aback by the strange little girl asking them all about the muscular structure, ligaments, bones etc. that were all laid bare by the injury, but one of them was so patient in answering all of my questions. Human anatomy was my obsession at the time, so I had a LOT of questions...
    Trinity: "That white thing there. Is that my leg bone?"
    Para: "Yes, it is."
    Trinity: "Tibia or fibula?"
    Para: "I'm not sure, but I suspect it's your tibia, given the angle of the wound."
    That sort of thing.

    When we arrived at the hospital, and I was being rushed on a gurney through Emergency, I heard the paramedic who'd been answering all my questions say to the Head Nurse, "Dr. T still around? You might want to get him down here STAT."

    The Head Nurse paged Dr. T, and they got him down to the operating room where they worked on my leg. It took hours to put everything back in place and sew me up. I was awake for the whole surgery and felt every stitch.

    I found out years later that Dr. T was the Chief Orthopaedic surgeon at the Children's Hospital, and the only person in the province who could have successfully performed that surgery. Lots of reconstruction of arteries, nerves, ligaments, tendons, etc. If any other doctor had bee on duty that night, or if the paramedic hadn't asked for Dr. T, it's likely that they would have just amputated my leg from just below the hip and called it a day.

    Many days I look at the large hook-shaped scar that is still clearly visible just below my knee, and marvel.