Sunday, December 20, 2015

Days of Their Lives

People come into your life.  People pass out of your life.

Sometimes, you find out how the story ends.  Sometimes you are left wondering.  Sometimes you find out.  Sometimes, I don't know what is worse.

Yesterday, I read a story about a teacher and a student, a true story that made me, so much, want to know how the story of this young man's childhood ended.  Did the young man grow up and find stability in his life?  Was he a wonderful husband or father? Or, did he go down a wrong, bad path?

I am 63 now.  Many people have entered and exited my life in many ways.  We grew apart.  We moved apart. We changed jobs.  Some of us...well, entered the ultimate separation.

I have a little story of my own to share today.

When I was a young adult, I lived, with my spouse, in several places. A couple of the moves were due to my spouse being in the military.

In one of those places, I met her.

She worked at the company where I found one of my first full time jobs.  In fact, she trained me into a profession I followed for most of the next 20 years.  She was not always a pleasant person - in fact, at times, I found her to be rather arrogant.  Of course, I was a bit rough around the edges when I was in my 20's, too.  But she did a good job of training me, and for that I am grateful.  She gave me a career, whether she knew it or not.

Her name was a little bit unusual (for names I had heard up to then), and I remembered it, too.  I remembered her husband's name.  We worked in a small office, and many of the husbands had that same first name. 

At the time, she was childless.  But, one day, that changed.

She worked all through her pregnancy.  She gave birth to a boy, and I loved the name she gave him. 
Once she came back to work, though, it was clear she didn't want to be there.  Her heart's desire was to be with her baby boy, and, eventually, she quit her job to stay home full time.

Then, my spouse and I left the area.  We have never returned.

Recently, an impulse caused me to look her up.  I get those impulses from time to time - wanting to know the rest of the stories of the people of my youth.  From time to time, a person enters my mind, and I am driven to find out the days of their lives.  Enough times, I find that the people I want to find never left the community where I knew them. Facebook sometimes aids me.

In this case, it didn't take long.

I found her.  She was mentioned in an obituary.  No, it isn't what you think. It wasn't her obituary.

It was her granddaughter's, who died last year.  A two year old granddaughter, her first, the daughter of the son she had quit work for to raise.

Several days later, I found my former co worker on Facebook.  Her profile was public, and I gazed upon her face for the first time in 35 years.  I wouldn't have recognized this middle aged woman, and who knows if she would have recognized me.  I saw her young baby boy from 35 years ago and what he looked like as a man in his 30's.

There weren't too many photos on her timeline, but most all the photos were of her small granddaughter.  It was obvious she was born medically fragile and had eventually succumbed.  Tubes.  A puffed up face.

A family full of love.

I found her husband's obituary, too.  He had died two years years before their granddaughter was born.

I gazed at the computer screen, wistful.

Sometimes, we just don't know the directions our lives will take.  Perhaps, that is why we aren't given any peeks into the future. 

Perhaps the moral of these stories is that I should not spend too much time in the past.  There is a saying - the rear view mirror is small.  The windshield is large.  That teaches us we must look ahead.

Not behind.

So go the days of our lives.

Have you ever done research and found something you rather would not have known?


  1. I do search for my old friends on facebook, but haven't come across an incident as distressing as this. I hope I don't. You must have been shaken by the pictures. Condolences to her family.

  2. About the time of my 20-year high school reunion I ran across several Facebook profiles of people I went to high school with. Learned about as much as I wanted to know about them. We lost touch for a reason.

  3. Oh, Alana, that is such a touching and poignant story. Social media and the internet resources make possible information that we never would have known a generation ago. I LOVE this: "the rear view is small, the windshield is large."

  4. All the time I feel, I wish I didn't know, lolzzz The way that information could steal your piece of mind at time is crazy.

  5. All the time, I find myself saying, I wish I hadn't found out lolzz. The information that we find sometimes cant steal our piece of mind. Its crazy!


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