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Day 60: On the Mend...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Last night when I went to bed I had no more than started to drift off when - *hack* *hack* *hack.* Mmphf. Turned over, just about asleep - *hack* *hack* *hack.* Dammitoll! I got up, found the cough syrup, and took a dose. I bet it wasn't fifteen minutes and I was sawing logs, sans cough. God bless codeine. And the blood glucose wasn't up much this AM either, so... it's all good, ain't?

* * *

Yesterday I learned a friend of mine from high school had died. I hadn't seen him in, oh, probably over 20 years. We were in a group of six or seven kids, some of whom have stayed in touch (as I have with my BFF, who was also in that same clique). Even the ones who aren't on my Christmas card list were still on the periphery - you know how it is. You always think that you could get in touch if you wanted and have a natter about the good ol' days, but you're comfortable putting it off, because - well, heck, we're young, there's plenty of time, right?

My school buds have developed a little communication system thru Classmates and Facebook and a couple of the other social networks. If we're not in direct contact, we're in contact with someone who is, if you follow my drift. So word gets around.

I've written here before about my not making it to my 40th high school reunion last fall - but emails were flying and the cyber reunion probably saw more people than the 'real' one. I'd heard our friend was sick, too sick to attend the reunion, and I had one of those frissons - one of those little chills - of foreboding, but dismissed it.

Well. We're 58 now, and there are plenty from our class who are gone already, so it's not surprising, in a way. It had been so long since I'd so much as talked with him - he and I were two of the 'indirect' contacts - that he may have been a very different person from the one I knew twenty years ago. He'd gotten married, had a family, gone off to a career... I'd gotten married, moved out of state, had kids. Lots in common simply because we were in the same stage of Life, but nothing in common anymore, really, except that we'd graduated from high school together and had once hung out with the same people.

All day I've been thinking about a field trip our Anthropology class took to Washington. My friend and I were the only two seniors - the rest were underclassmen - and we hatched a little plan on the way there. As soon as we got off the bus, we dodged the class and wandered around on our own, carefully avoiding the rest of them. Keep in mind, us Maryland kids went to DC at least once a year for school trips, and lots of times our families would go to Washington to spend a day at the Smithsonian, so we knew the Mall very well.

We already knew which exhibits our teacher was going to tour, and we were long familiar with them: the Museum of Natural History has been a favorite haunt of mine since I was nine years old. So once we'd ditched the rest (we were one month away from graduation, the teacher - poor man! - was only 21 and in his first year of teaching) we had a terrific time.

The highlight was going to the top of the Washington Monument. The elevator cost 10 cents per person. Take the elevator? Not at 17 you don't! We walked it. Every step. The view from the top was glorious - we watched planes going in and out of what is now Ronald Reagan Airport, across the Potomac. We were looking down on the tops of the planes - heady stuff for a couple of farm kids, because while we'd been to Washington many times, neither of us had ever gone inside the Monument.

After we'd had our fill, we walked over to the stairway to head down again. The security guard (no doubt recognizing us because not too many people came up the stairs) said 'You don't have to pay to ride the elevator down. Anybody who walks up can use it for free.' We looked at each other: 'Nah, if we can walk up the stairs, we can walk down!' So we did.

And that's what I've been thinking about all day. That, and his beautiful eyes. He had the bluest eyes I've ever seen.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Aw nice memory my friend. You will always have them of your friend.

    I can relate to the DC stories, been there done that ...got a T-Shirt !!! Some of our family DC trips was to the Zoo also. Recently went to the Eastern Market awesome hope to get there again this summer.
    3695 days ago
    Kasey - Sorry for the loss of your classmate. I've only recently started reconnecting with some of my former classmates through Facebook. While I was reading this wonderful memory you have of your friend, it struck me again what a fantastic story teller you are. You brought a few tears to my eyes with this one.
    3695 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8752472
    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your school friend. emoticon
    3695 days ago
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    Sorry for your loss...take care of yourself, my friend.
    3695 days ago
    Sorry about your loss. A very nice memory that you shared. I hope you feel better today.
    3695 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4061285
    Sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you for sharing that memory. emoticon
    3695 days ago
    sorry for your loss
    3695 days ago
    I have never been to the top---think it is probably the elevator----leave my tummy at the bottom everytime I use one----nice memory.
    3695 days ago
    It's news that starts to come to all of us I guess. It's great that you find comfort in such lovely memories.
    3695 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon I am so sorry that this happened at a time when you are not feeling well.
    3696 days ago
    What a wonderful memory! At least you have that. I think you had even back then a great capacity to be a good friend.
    3696 days ago
    So sorry about your classmate, Kassey but the memories will stay within...a close classmate of mine passed away last fall and I often remember our summer vacations together and other little outings, some which I can't repeat...boy, did we have fun! I'm turning 60 this month and hate opening the obits in the paper for fear I have lost another...as Mary said, it forces one to think about our mortality! Take care!
    3696 days ago
    Sorry for the loss of your friend, but what a great memory to hold on to! Onward to recovery, one day at a time... hope you sleep well and don't need the cough meds tonight! emoticon
    3696 days ago
    emoticon Sorry about the loss of your classmate...it's often hard to accept that friends our age are passing on. I'm sure you have some great memories that will live on...and the mental picture of those blue eyes.

    You are a good storyteller...I loved your DC escapades and could almost picture it all from your description. Oh, to be young and adventurous again, right? What fun!
    3696 days ago
    --hard to lose a friend---- You have good memories though--- Happy to see you are recovering---Lynda emoticon
    3696 days ago
    It's coming around a little oftener these days -- the news that someone from my (misspent?) youth has left the building. Even close friends. Hard to assimilate, hard to think that I could possibly be next (although I'm planning to live to be 100 because I promised my grandson I would). The memories are such treasures -- keep yours close. Learn how to guard & preserve them -- we'll need them more than ever as we go forward from here.
    3696 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6484093
    Sorry to hear about your old friend. It's always sad and it forces us to think about our own mortality. But you have some very fond and dear memories that will never die. Take care, Kasey.
    3696 days ago
    I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. You have some great memories. emoticon
    3696 days ago
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