Friday, September 08, 2006

This time around, it's hit me kinda hard...

Earlier this week, I did something a little different; instead of reading the paper in the coffee shop, I went down to City Park and read the paper there. It was nice and warm, and peaceful, since things seem to have calmed down a bit after Labor Day. Indeed, summer "for the rest of us". I opened up the paper, and there it was, just inside the front page. One of my classmates from the Coeur d'Alene High School class of 1972 had passed away. I've been having a hard time with this all week. I'm trying to figure out why; I didn't know her all that well, but then again, I really didn't know many of my classmates well; I was never one of the popular kids; indeed, my main claim to fame was working at Buttrey's Grocery Store after school, and it turns out more of my class knew me for that, rather than anything I did in school, which was really not very much.

My classmate, Krista, really stood out, though. No, she wasn't the prom queen, she wasn't one of the cheerleaders, and she didn't make the honor roll in school. Looking through my high school annual, I couldn't find her in any of the numerous school clubs or organizations. She went to classes, and really, that was about it. Which was exactly what I did in high school. I attended and slogged my way thru the classes unenthusiastically. And that's pretty much all I did. Krista, like my dearly-departed Mom, was a redhead, and that immediately made her stand out. Not only that, but in remembering Krista, she paralleled my Mom's personality. From what I remember of her, Krista was soft-spoken and very nice, unpretentious and just a sweetheart.

In reading her obituary, I was right about Krista. Evidently, she "went to Europe and was a counselor for 'Teens' Mission'. She joined the Billy Graham crusade, working for them for several years." Afterward, she became a consultant in the cosmetic industry, and continued to be active in the Church. Perhaps Krista was active in the church all thru high school as well. I had last seen her at our 30th class reunion four years ago; we spoke briefly, and I couldn't believe how gorgeous she looked. It was more than just a physical beauty. There really seemed to be "something extra" about her, though I couldn't put my finger on it. She just seemed "kind" somehow, and indeed she was. Serene, perhaps.

In a perfect world, people like Krista would live, while all of the mean, rude and arrogant people, who spend their lives annoying others, would just die off. But life doesn't work that way. There have been good people, leaders in their community, family-oriented people who've done everything right, who tragically pass away, while those who don't have much going for themselves just seem to keep on living. I can't begin to understand any of this at all. The only thing that comes to mind, is that we're here for a reason, whatever that reason is. Assuming there IS a reason. Why doesn't this make sense to me? Because I'M still alive! I find that so strange. I suppose all any of us can conclude is that "for whatever reason, our time comes when it comes". I look at my own existence; I've lived 52 years to get to this point...I just can't imagine my "not being around"! Yet the obits continue to appear, and the monument makers make a steady living. All of this just kinda blows my mind.

I think of other classmates of mine that aren't alive anymore. Debbie died of a viral infection in the late '90s. She was an honor student, in just about every high school organization, and I'd known her since I was in 4th grade. Another, Mark, passed away in the '70s, when a logging truck spilled its load onto his car. A longtime classmate, Kay, passed away recently due to hepatitis. Yet another, Ron, had heart problems; he passed away this spring. And still another, Ken, crashed into a highway bridge support back in the early '70s. He was a math whiz. I was a math idiot. Go figure. Dwight, another classmate, evidently had liver problems; he's gone too. And one of my best friends, also a classmate, Ray, died of a heart attack in the '80s. He worked for the CDA Street department. Their memories are all hovering around me right now.

When I was young, I never thought about death or grief or sorrow or tragedy; but now, things are different. People younger than me are showing up in the obits all the time. The only positive thing I can come away with is that while we're here, life is meant to be lived; after all, in spite of all the unrest, deceit and inconsideration we may experience, this is still a beautiful world. Anymore, when I wake up, I tend to think, "well, I'm still alive; I'd better get up and do something with this day." My own mom, as sweet and beautiful as she was, is gone. Maybe I am meant to try and treat others with a bit of compassion, the same compassion she had all her life. So I try. Somehow I think my Mom and Krista would've been great friends.

In the meantime, I think of Krista, and Ron, and Ray, and Kay, and Debbie, and all of the others I've known; other friends, fellow musicians, senior citizens I met while driving cab, former co-workers and so many others...they're gone now. The only conclusion I can come to is, "we're here until we aren't". That's IT. All any of us can do, I suppose, is try to enjoy the little things. That warm cup of coffee. The warmth of the sun. The aroma of freshly baked bread. Little everyday things we take for granted. For who knows how long any of us has got?

Sorry if I bummed you out. One of the purposes of this blog is for me to get my feelings out, whenever something happens that affects me. Life hasn't been easy lately. But it'll get better. I hope.


Blogger Christine said...

I am glad you are able to write about what you are feeling, happy or sad. It is an important part of mental well-being. You may feel bummed at the moment, but the fact that you can write about it says volumes.

3:29 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hi, it 'says volumes'? I'm not sure what it says, but I was in tears after proofreading that blog entry. A goal of this blog is to portray what's going on within me. Sometimes silly, sometimes stupid, sometimes sad. I try to "cut thru it all" and get to the core. There's enough blandness in this world. There are things I'll probably never write about, buried very deeply, but writing that post was very therapeutic. Even though I'm still bummed. That'll pass; it always does. Thanks for your comments...

6:58 PM  
Blogger Word Tosser said...

Check our my blog of Wednesday, September 06, 2006
"I think I am Beginning to get it Now" I wrote on this subject, and feelings after.
Life is like a book, full of chapters (if you are lucky) and people are in those chapters. Some times they are there a long time, some only for a chapter. They are there to teach us something. And when those leave us... it is part of us leaving too. And we mourn the empty spot where that person was. Be it friend, family or someone we know.
So read my 9-6- and see if it makes sense.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Word Tosser said...

that is suppose to be check OUT. not our

11:17 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Sis, you made some good sense. I suppose we have to believe there is a reason for everything. It's either that, or people live, and then they pass away, and that's it. Who knows?

6:25 AM  

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