Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Oh my goodness what an emotionally fun, worrisome, busy, and blessed week this has been! I don’t know where to start – “Let’s start at the very beginning…” (Do-Rei-Me, Sound of Music). So… last Thursday I started my day off with a very early morning trip to Richmond to take my older daughter’s 6:30 am cycle class and boy was I glad I did! It was a great and fun workout! Wish I could do that every day. And my day ended in a fun way as we finally had a dry (and hot) evening, so my younger daughter and I could have our tennis lesson. Got to see 2 of my 3 kids in one day.
There has been so much in the news recently about Charlottesville, as last weekend was the anniversary of the horrible rallies and protests, where 3 people lost their lives. Luckily, the rallies were moved to DC this year, away from Charlottesville. Still, worried about what might happen, most downtown businesses (including our downtown club), restaurants, Fridays after Five, even the farmer’s market, all closed for the weekend, just in case. And I left town. My middle daughter called me to say she was reliving part of her childhood, watching the “Sound of Music” as an adult. (The kids and I watched it annually when they were little.) She called me because she was shocked that she never thought about it as a political movie – just a musical where she knew all of the songs. But it seemed more relevant to her now in light of everything that happened in our town.
“Conflict cannot survive when only one person participates.” Wayne Dyer
Saturday morning I headed to Winston-Salem for my 42nd high school reunion. Yes it is an “odd” year, but we get together every year (now that we are 60+ years old!) to keep in touch, which I love. I was so looking forward to seeing the people I shared my fun high school years with. But on my way down to NC, my younger sister called to tell me she had received a call that Mom had fallen and hurt her shoulder. Luckily, she is a nurse, and was taking Mom to get an X-ray. She had fractured her shoulder, which is better news than what we were first told: fractured elbow, shoulder, and collarbone. Mom is a tough bird who has a high tolerance for pain. Plus, she is so sweet and never complains, so the only way we knew she was in pain was the expression on her face when she moved her arm. The doctor told my sister he could not believe Mom was not screaming in pain.
“The older you get, the more important it is to know people that knew you when.” Amy Poehler
After stopping by my older sister’s house to change into my “reunion attire,” I headed to Mom’s Assisted Living to see how she was doing. She looked good and was in pretty good spirits considering she was in pain. Visited with Mom and my younger sister before heading to meet a friend to go to the reunion together. It was comforting to walk in with a friend and not SOLO. And so wonderful to see all my old classmates. Special people from my past. And our organizer, the special friend who ignited my love for Carolina basketball back in the 5th grade, gave me another UNC present! I get one every year! This year it was a book about the 1957 team (year I was born). And what a difference a year makes – one of my dear, “old,” childhood friends, who was diagnosed with MS in his 30’s, was able to stand and give me a hug this year! Made my night. Had dinner with him, his wife, an old boyfriend and his wife, and several other friends. I am thankful to reconnect with these classmates that I only get to see once a year. As adults, it doesn’t matter what “group” you were in back in the day – all that matters is that you are here and you care. These are people who have known me a LONG time. Some all the way back to elementary school! Missed several of my cheerleader friends, though thankfully, I have been able to get together with them during the year. So many classmates told me they are reading my blog which warmed my heart! I never know who is reading it.
“The old ones are still the best. Old jeans, old shoes, old tunes and old times.”
Worried about Mom, I stopped by to check on her after the reunion. Found her asleep, but she woke up and did not appear to be in much pain (thanks to pain meds). She wanted to know how the reunion was and who was there. It was fun sharing the night with her, reminding her who everyone was, even if she would not remember any of it. It’s all about being in the moment.
Stopped in Sunday morning and found Mom awake and dressed for the day. Got her to eat some breakfast, reminded her about my reunion the night before, and found Beauty and the Beast on TV for her. Told her I was heading to Charlotte to have brunch with my son (her grandson) and his girlfriend, who my girls and I love, and her family. It was my first time meeting them and I was very excited and, yes, nervous. Immediately realized that was misplaced – I felt as if I had known them forever! I now see why this girl is so special – her family is warm, caring, fun, and so welcoming.
After brunch I had one more special visit to make before leaving Charlotte. I was blessed to be able to see and hold the precious granddaughter of my dear friend whose daughter (a dear friend of my older daughter) lives in Charlotte. Babies are such miracles and bring such joy, and this sweet baby is no exception. We oohed and ahhed over every one of her facial expressions!
“Life is short. Time is fast. No replay. No rewind. So enjoy every moment as it comes.”
What a special weekend I had. Made even more special as I found myself several hours later at the beach! Oh, life is good, so good! One of my high school cheerleader friends was not able to make the reunion, but lucky for me, we met for dinner at the beach, as we have done several times this summer. Love catching up with this girl – I can live vicariously through her – she has so much fun! We’ve both been on the same SOLO journey recently and come out on the other, better side, thankfully.
“Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep the faith. It will all be worth it in the end.”
And now, I am getting ready for another reunion – MY family – my sisters, their families, and mine. Just missing Mom this year as it was recommended that we don’t take her out of her daily routine. And now that she hurt her shoulder, it would be impossible. Makes us all sad. Thankful that we were ALL together here last year and had a photographer document it. Cannot wait to spend time with my family, and celebrate my great-nephew Jack’s 2nd birthday! We’re coming full circle as my sisters and I vacationed at this beach as children and here we are continuing to celebrate our family at the beach. Family is what it is all about y’all.
“Being a family means you are part of something very wonderful. It means that you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what.”
So many emotions this past week. And more this weekend as it promises to be a fun, family-filled one. I am doing what makes me happy. Are you? Don’t put off the things you want to do, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
3 thoughts on ““I second that emotion…” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 1968”
Hope you are having a wonderful week at the beach!!! It is great that you can all be together!!!
It is great to read your blog Leslie, I just wish that we would have taken pictures at the reunion. Everyone should know that you are a great person not just with white people but with black ones as well I am happy that I got the chance to know you in the early years and today. Reading your blog let’s be reminisce of the past and how I was excepted by whites as friends and family the middle 70s and our graduation years 76 proved to be one of togetherness. Keep up the good work on your blogs and I will keep reading them . Since I too am solo at 60. Taking care of my dad at 92 is a full-time job however it’s a wonderful feeling for me because I was gone for so long. But I really enjoy being single right now because I am able to be me. Love you good friend .
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OH Robert next time we will get that picture! Love you too my friend!