Marjorie Writes…

Everyday Musings of an Extraordinary Woman

Archive for the tag “friends”

Memories of Mom

Scrolling on Facebook way too early this morning, I saw a post by a dear friend of my late aunt’s, who is also my friend now. It was about a book she had read, with a summary of the book and an explanation of what it meant to her, how it moved her, and what message it left her with.

Now, I am a voracious reader – I love books and reading. I can get lost in a book for hours and lose track of my present circumstances. I have always been able to lose myself in books, which is one of the things I love about them. I’m a naturally curious person who loves learning about everything, and books allow me a view into different places, minds, and situations. Plus there’s that whole escape aspect.

Anyhow, in reading her post, it made me think of her friend, my aunt. She was always reading, and once I was an adult we would often talk about books and my much too infrequent visits to her house (I lived in another state) would often entail a trip into her closet to borrow a handful of books she’d recommended. Now, I have a lot of friends who love to read, and I see regular postings on Facebook with book reviews, recommendations, or commentary on books. Why this particular post brought with it so many memories, I have no clue, but I am glad.

The memories took me to memories of my mother, who passed away when I was 18. She also loved reading. In fact, I clearly remember going to the library with her. We went often, but my best memory was when I was old enough to get my own library card and I got to pick out even more books than usual and lug them home to get lost in. We also had a huge wall of books in the living room in the built in shelves that ran floor to ceiling against one long wall.

My godmother also shared this love of reading, and as an adult for a number of years I was fortunate enough to live in the same state as her. In fact, she had a summer home in the town I lived in, and again, my visits often resulted in me going home with armfuls of books.

As often do, the memories trailed along to other things my mom loved to do. When her nose wasn’t buried in a book, her hands were often full of whatever she was knitting, crocheting, embroidering, or whatever needlepoint canvas she was working on. She always had multiple projects going. I tried many of those needle crafts over the years, and they never stuck, but at least the skills stayed with me. I now love to knit, and I find that I feel her with me while I’m doing so. The friends I had when I was learning to knit, in my knitting group, would often tease me about being able to read while I was knitting (as long as it was a simple pattern, that didn’t require my full attention). And my stitches have always been very even, which I credit my mother with.

So I decided, as it turned out that I had an unexpectedly quiet, unscheduled day ahead, I will pay homage to the memory of my wonderful mother, reading and knitting. The only thing that would make it more like her would be if I found an Astros game on tv and watched that while knitting. Although, truth be told, she just loved baseball, so she would often watch whatever game she could find on tv, and back then, it was usually the hometeam (Astros), the Cubs or the Braves, as with cable back then you got the Chicago and Atlanta stations.

These beautiful memories also made me realize just how much of my mom I have in me. And that is an amazing gift.

Life is Too Short

I spent a couple hours this afternoon with some former co-workers from my college newspaper days. It was great to see them, catch up with what was going on in our lives, talk about our kids and our memories from between 25 and 30 years ago. However, there was an underlying sadness. We came together to celebrate the life of one of our own, whose life was cut short by cancer the day after Christmas.

While there were only a few of us there from our group, it was a good sized gathering from different facets of her life. I remember her as always having a huge smile and a great spirit.

The greater group of alumni from our newspaper usually gets together every few years. And even though we’re not all able to make it each time, we all usually make our best efforts as those times were special to all of us. I remember them well, and I remember clearly whom I was back in those days, back when I thought we would change the world, or at least report on those who did.

This was also a reminder about how I’ve meant to ask a couple former classmates to let me bring my daughter to their workplace as she wants to be a journalist too, and I’d love to be able to give her the experience to see what it’s really like, even just as a peek.

Sadly, it seems far too frequent that one of our own is gone from the group forever, lost to the eternity of death. As one of my friends said today, it feels like we’re far too young to keep losing our college friends.

Today is a reminder to my University of Houston Daily Cougar alumni friends that it’s time again to get together, before we lose another person. It’s a reminder how short life is and how unfair it can be.

Never miss a chance to tell those you care about how you feel. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, and we often don’t have the opportunity of knowing in advance when we will lose someone. Don’t leave things unsaid. Live life to the fullest. All cliche ideas, yet also all very necessary to remember.

Memories

Recently, two old friends posted pictures of me on Facebook from my senior year of high school. And they were two friends who were friends with each other, and I actually met one through the other. Both have been very important in the story of me.me 17This was the first picture. I don’t know what we were doing or where we were. I do know that the picture, while not inspiring memories of one specific event, evoked a plethora of memories last night and today, along with the realization that my daughter looks so much more like me than I realized. And that I wished I had appreciated the head of hair I was blessed with when I was younger!

The other picture, posted today, brought back even more memories, partially inspired by the surroundings:

meat17Now I don’t know what kind of statues the military has, but I won’t name the location of the barracks that was taken in, nor whose room it was. I’m pretty sure that after 25 or so years, the statute of limitations has run out on the fact that I was drinking at 17 there.  I don’t think I drank all of the beers on that desk, though. But I won’t swear to it either. Nor can I say I can remember exactly which night that was, as it wasn’t the only evening spent there.

It’s amazing the memories that can be brought up by seeing a picture of yourself from so many years ago. Specifically, a casual, non-posed one where you are relaxed and enjoying life.

I do know that year was a very important one for me, not only because it was my senior year of high school. It was an incredible year, which I was fortunate enough to recognize shortly thereafter. I was young, confident, happy. In so many ways I was so very innocent, even though if you’d asked me then, I would never have agreed with you. But knowing what I know now about life and the world in general, I was so very, blissfully innocent, and happy.

Funny, it just hit me that I know I had my share of teen angst that year, as we have all had. Yet when I look back, I don’t remember it unless I think really hard, and then it’s just so softened. At the time I’m sure it was more serious to me.

Old friends, good friends, pictures and memories. Keep them all close to your heart and you’ll always find a reason to smile.

Live, Love, Laugh…it makes it all worthwhile!

Friends and Perspectives

When I first started this blog, one of the things I wrote most about was friends. I’m still grateful for my friends, that will never change. Both old and new friends are so important.

One of the great things about friends, aside from the obvious fun, sharing, being there for each other, is the opportunity to see things in a different light. And they can encourage you to step out of your comfort zones, or try new things. Or just look at things from different perspectives.

While I’m often good at doing that for my friends, I’m also sometimes not so good at doing it for myself. For instance, I’m looking for full-time work right now, so money is tight. My friend suggested we take the kids down to Washington, DC for a couple of days. When I told her I really couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money, she came up with a new suggestion. So instead of staying over, we’re driving down for the day tomorrow. It’s only roughly a 3 hour drive from here, so we’re packing up the kids and a lunch, and going. Many of the attractions there are free, and with our packed lunch and snacks, we’ll be able to have a fun, different day with the kids for a limited expense.  We’ll have dinner before we head home, and our kids should come home tired and happy, having had a fun day in a different city. (As well as them having spent the day in our nation’s capitol, which they are very excited about!)

At some point, once I’m working more (or at least have a stronger source of income) I plan to take them back. One day is nowhere near enough time to see everything there. I know it’s going to leave me wanting a lot more – I love DC, but haven’t been there for years. And this new perspective on doing things on a tight budget should translate well for the rest of the summer. A lot of the places I really want to take them in Philadelphia aren’t free. However, there is so much there that is so historical and free that we could easily go for the day and have a great time, and it’s also a great learning trip for them.

When I first decided to move up to the Jersey Shore, it was right after my daughter was born. One of the things I was most excited about was that there were so many historic areas in such a close area. I had grand plans to teach them history through trips up and down the coast. Sadly, about the only time we’ve done that was when we went to Gettysburg upon evacuating from a hurricane (which didn’t end up hitting us, thankfully). And that trip was infused with history and ghost-hunting. Very fun, even if it would have been more fun for me had I not spent half of the time preoccupied about whether our home would be there when we returned.

So thank goodness for friends. I’ve always loved my friends, and as I move through my life, I’ve always been thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way.

Live, love, laugh…it makes it all worthwhile!

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