Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Will People Remember

mark-don-melI got the news this afternoon: a friend from High School had died. We were in the same graduating class and had gone to school together since grade school. We were in band together- she played the flute, I played the drums. We liked some of the same music/artists, one in particular: Grand Funk. For her birthday (I think) I drew a poster of Mark, Don and Mel. She loved it and told me she'd keep it so that one day when I became a famous graphic artist, she could tell everyone she had a "Keith Original." I never became famous, but at our last reunion, she told me she still had the poster...after over 30 years!

After I hung up the phone, I wondered about her. What had she been doing all these years? We saw each other at the class reunions, but like lots of High School classmates, we really hadn't kept in touch over the years. How many children did she have? What kind of work did she do? What hobbies did she have? Where did she go to church? Was she happy? Did she have lots of friends? Why?...just why?

I didn't know the answer to those questions. So...I thought about the things I did know, the things I remember:

  • We laughed a lot during those years; she had an infectious laugh.
  • She was a good friend. I'm glad I got to know here during those years.
  • She was one of the first females to go through the Drafting program at the local Vo-Tech. That was a big deal back in the 70s. I remember talking to her about it and how she was apprehensive and yet, determined at the same time. She made it through the program just fine.
  • She was the FFA Queen our Senior year. Don't why I remember that; I wasn't even in FFA.

Thinking about her death, made me think about my own. Let's face it, one of these days, we're all going to come to the point in this journey. One of my favorite songs by Grand Funk is "Closer to Home." Each day we're getting closer to "home." What will people remember about me when I'm gone? Was I a good friend? Will they remember the funny stuff? Was I a good husband, a good father? Life goes by pretty fast. I hope I'll leave some good memories behind...In the meantime, there are some areas I need to work on NOW, while I have the time.

Thanks for the good memories, Marci.


Bruce Horne said...

Hello Keith:
Thank you for your memories of Marci. Here are mine:
It was 6th grade. We were back at the old High School Annex. This was after the old High School burned down but before the new High School was finished. I can still smell the cedar trees after the rain. She and I were among a group of about seven students who had made good grades and were told by David Webb that we were excused from his class for an hour (you were probably among us: I remember in 2nd grade crawling back on my hands and knees to your desk and asking if 3+3 equaled 6, you looked at me and demurely answered, yes – but that’s a story for another time).

So our group walked to City Park. She and I sat in the bleachers near the 3rd base line and talked. I don’t remember what we talked about. But I remember she had beautiful golden hair with curls (the same as in the picture you posted) and she had a hair brush and was brushing her hair. I got angry because I thought she was conceited and vain (and not paying attention to me), so I grabbed the brush out of her hand and walked to 3rd base and dug the brush into the sand infield, and then I walked to the backstop that was a chainlink fence with an iron pipe at the top and rammed the brush down the pipe. It’s probably still there.

I turned to her and expected to see anger and resentment but this is what I saw: sadness, exasperation and just a little bit of pity. What her eyes said was this: Will you and every other man-child in this school just simply GROW UP.

That was 38 years ago. I’ve grown up. I wish Marci could know this, and I wish I could remember what we talked about that day.


Keith said...

Bruce: Good to hear from you. I don't recall the "math" incident. Sounds funny. Thanks for sharing about Marci. Such a sweetheart. The service was nice; got to visit with some old classmates and share some memories there. Our 35th reunion is coming up next year--hope you can make it.