I sat in the surgical lab waiting to give a blood sample. When the nurse handed me a vial upon which she affixed a label, she said, "Can you read that?" I thought she meant was it legible, and I answered,after reading the vital info, "Well, I sure can, but I wish you'd leave the age out. I feel 50 but the truth lies on that label." She began to quote a verse from Psalms (only in the South does this happen) about taking what you have and doing something with it. I told her my goal was to reach 140. She laughed, then said "That's possible. My grandmother died when she was 105, my father when he was 95, you just might get close." She rambled on. "I don't understand why retired people just sit around moaning they have nothing to do. They even die early out of boredom." I assured her I didn't let boredom enter my door.
The idea of dying creeps into my life occasionally, just a flit of a reminder of the number of folks who pass away in the seventies of their lives. I don't feel nor think I look "old". Anyway, I've reminded my God that He can't take me until I've cleaned up the house and given away all the accumulation that crowds my space.
Last year I embarked on the journey to contact all those friends I made from elementary to high school to thank them for being in my life. Unfortunately, so many had passed away or moved away and out of the phone books. I did find two teens of that time who shared the love of Civil Air Patrol. an Air Force auxiliary for teens. We spent two weeks at an encampment learning the fundamentals of army life. We girls wanted to be a part of the armed forces, but in our time that was not the pick of young women. We were born too early. Fortunately, the young woman in Ohio and I are still emailing. They young man I found in South Carolina, a happy changed person from the one I once knew. He reminded me of my mother's generosity in helping him once with lunch money while he was attending college. I had been corresponding with him during our college days. That phone call and subsequent emails brightened my time spent in locating them.
Next, I found in a high school scrapbook the newspaper article of an outstanding high school basketball player. I knew him to have joined the Navy and left Mississippi, only to return later in life. His picture was snapped at a community center for seniors. I called a number I hoped was his and found him at home. He was delighted to know I had the article highlighting his basketball days. Dropping that into the mail was the third move.
The last person I found lived on the Gulf Coast. I had a snapshot of him standing in front of a ten on maneuvers while in the Army. I mentioned in the phone call who I was (I remembered him quite clearly, but he wasn't sure of me) and said I had the snapshot. He was delighted, as several hurricanes had wiped out all his precious mementos. Sending that to him completed my fourth contact.
In each case I remembered something nice about the person and thanked them for coming into my life. Of course, I knew that many of them are still wondering who that woman was who called, but within myself I had started the ball rolling. Sadly, I've not found enough people to whom to show appreciation. I'm still working on that project.
I missed my teachers who have all passed away. I should switch my legs for waiting so long to tell them how much I appreciated the little things they did for students in their time. Perhaps one day they'll find out.