Yesterday was a very special day for me. About a month ago right here on the blog I got a message from a high school buddy of mine.
Chuck Paxton and I were good friends through high school. Sadly, as is so often the case right after high school our individual lives took us in different directions and we lost contact. It is mind boggling to me when I think, high school, that was 38 years ago. How did 38 years go by so very quickly.
Memory or at least mine is a funny thing. There are often times when I can’t remember something that happened an hour ago, but I have memories of things that happened 40 years ago.
For Chuck and I my memories go way back to even before we had girl friends. One day maybe I will post some of the “high jinx” we got up to.
My memories carry back to another high school friend. Teri Dowler definitely fell into the cute chick category. I can remember way back to when Teri and Chuck started dating. They did make such a good couple. I think that was in grade 11. I chuckle now when I think of how our friendship evolved. I can’t say our friendship began before we discovered girls, oh, we knew they were there. There is a big step involved for young guys going from “knowing” they are there to having the nerve to talk to one or even ask a girl out. We were friends through that stage. I chuckle because I think back to how our “priorities” changed. We for sure remained friends we just didn’t hang out together as much. I am sure Chuck will echo these same feelings back to me. It was sort of, huh, hang out with Chuck on a Friday night or go on a date with a girl. That certainly didn’t seem to be a hard decision. We double dated on occasion and the friendship carried on.
I had know Teri before they started dating but obviously got to know her better as she dated Chuck. I think I was about 16 at the time and as I got to know her better, I could see not only was she a cute hot chick she was also very very nice. Through high school we went.
Now, I want to say I attended their wedding about a year or two after high school. Hey, I am memory guy and will have to leave it at, I am pretty sure I attended their wedding. From there we pretty much disappeared from each others lives. Careers, life in general taking us in different directions.
Chuck and I only reconnects a month or two ago when he reached out through cyber space, found me here on the blog and left me a message. Since then emails have been going back and forth, with an occasional phone call thrown in.
Chuck was scheduled to actually be passing through Winnipeg,yesterday, He kindly stopped over to the house for a visit. Time restraints made the visit short but we reconnected as friends. So much time has passed we could have met as virtual strangers but for me anyway it wasn’t like that. We immediately fell into the comfortable feeling you have when talking to a dear friend.
Chuck, I thank you so very much for first off locating and then reaching out to contact me and for then taking the time to stop by for a visit. I appreciate it buddy. Let’s please try to stay in touch.
Reestablishing the friendship is great, no question of that. Sadly, it is not all good news. Teri passed away April 27/09. I quote from one of our emails.
“Teri was diagnosed with lung cancer in Oct ’07 and spent the neat year and a half going thru chemo, radiation treatments and major surgery trying to beat it, but nothing worked and she passed away April 27 ’09”.
When I read that email, I did get a lump in my throat and tears did come to the eyes.
Only, yesterday did I learn Teri had initially be stricken with cancer 30 years ago. Went through all the treatments and beat it, such a strong and courageous lady. Chuck and family, my heart is bleeding for you.
So very many times I have said it is so much more difficult for the families. Chuck is a strong man and will get past this with time. Talking to him yesterday I could see and feel his pain at the loose of a life time partner.
I ask please for prayers for Chuck, his family and all that are currently in or facing such a very difficult and painful time.
Chuck, buddy, I may not have been around for you in the past, I didn’t know. But know I am here now.