Thursday, September 16, 2010
Magic Eight Ball of Ten Years
Casie, Me, Emily, Chandra & Landry at the pep rally
There was once this little group of teenagers sitting on a dock on their summer vacation. They were talking about the future and where they would be when they grew up... I remember writing five years after we graduated about what we had all become at that time. I was a news reporter. Lauren was in Marketing. Tracy was a teacher. Tara was an interior designer. Emily was an optometrist. I could go around the whole circle of each that sat in that conversation, but the point was we all grew up... Somehow. Maybe I still don't know what I want to exactly be when I grow up, but here I am... sort of... somehow... Some got married. Some had kids. Some just lived. We lost Sarah. Sarah who sat in on that conversation at the lake talking about her dreams of owning a bookstore, but somehow she ended up saving lives as a nurse... And there we went...
....flash forward ten years...
I must say before I even begin this journey that I cut my weekend into two parts. I did not attend many of the reunion festivities due to my commitment to Texas Tech...
I was very excited to show Nick the town I grew up in. My Dad moved away a few years ago and I don't go back too often. We flew in late Thursday night and got to spend time with Dad and Brenda just talking on the couch. Friday we got up and after a lovely breakfast headed to Big Spring. First I took Nick to my childhood street. It still looks the same. I pointed out my home... and that was it there... I wanted to break in and look around. I took him to meet various neighbors and enjoyed catching up with them. I then drove him far out to the cemetery. Quite awkward as she is not really there. I walked over to Mom's grave and pointed it out. Really... what else was there to do with it? He was very kind, but I didn't want to stand there and think about it... so I pointed out a few friends who had passed away and we walked around a bit...
The pep rally was a lot of fun. Chandra is a teacher so she had to go so she brought her baby girl up there so I got to hang out with Landry! There was a small turnout of us which I knew was going to happen, but it was good to see those that were there. Of my group of girls only about four were in attendance. Out of the guys there were only about three! That's okay... Then we all went to the float to ride! Too much fun!!! I saw a few people in the crowd so that was fun to wave and yell at them. Afterwards Nick and I met Casie, Ashley and Emily at Carlos to eat... yummy. We went to the football game, but it was not too eventful... We visited with a few people and sat with Brittany, Lance, Scott and his wife... One person I did see was my mother's best friend, Joy who lives in Austin... this is going to sound insane, but I kept having dreams of Joy and her daughter. Joy's daughter is on Facebook, but she is not so I prayed that somehow God put them in my life. It was her 50th high school reunion and she was back in town. We hugged for a long time and talked... Nice time.
Casie and I
Let's flash back... ummm... twenty years?... Chandra McBee Brooks
One thing that blew my mind is seeing a t-shirt made for the reunion. The names were of those we lost... And then I saw my Mom's name... and Brittany's dad's name... I was in awe... How kind... My gosh, how kind. See, going to Big Spring for events like this brings Mom to the surface. She was a legendary teacher and everyone knows me because of her. She was everyone's favorite teacher... and going back just brings that all out. I enjoy it and it hurts a bit, too. Everything in that town is her. Everything is my childhood with both my parents in my happy little life. We live a different part of the journey now, but when I go home to that place it is all still there. It's neat in a sense. She would have loved hearing the stories of everyone I saw ... Gosh, she would have been right in the middle of it!!!
Scott & Claire
We ended the night by visiting with my dear friend, Stephanie who is my "sister." A few years ago I wrote on and on about her horrific wreck where she was thrown from her sunroof after a diabetic coma and she lost her baby... Well, she is now working out and able to almost jog... My gosh, time does heal wounds. After crushing her ankle in pieces and breaking her entire body she is able to jog. God is there.
Saturday we headed to Lubbock for the Texas Tech vs. UT game. I was going to report for the Red Raider Roadshow so I was excited! We met up with Sarah and Brandon and their family so that was fun. Emily and Ashley came up to hang with us, too... After a bit Mitchell and I went into the crowds and did our interviews... We had a blast with the soundbites. We had so much fun with different people!!! After that Nick and I went into the game... We did not win and it was a long haul, but it was fun. For some reason we drove home to Midland afterwards... that was a brutally long drive.
Stephanie Brown Tettleton
Sunday we hung with Dad and Brenda all day. It was so nice. Dad took me for a ride on his motorcycle! Brenda cooked some gourmet food!!! Gosh, I didn't want to leave. I love being home with my family. We got to the airport and had a large delay and I was so excited to see one of my childhood neighbors, Suzanne who I had visited her family, but she was not there yet... We got to catch up and it was just wonderful.
I love going "home." Ten years... My gosh, I could write a whole book about this journey the past ten years. I thought as the young girl at the lake I would lead the same life as my parents. I thought I'd be married and have kids... it isn't like that as we all see. In ten years I graduated college, I lived in four cities, I changed professions, I lost my mother, I lost a best friend, I gained an entire family, my Dad moved from my childhood home, I went to countless churches... but you know what... I made countless friends, I grew up, I gained perspective and I walked with God... We don't know the journey ten years at a time. I have been through so much in a little time, but I am not a planted flower. As we stood in that gym ten years later and we looked around at everyone's lives we smiled... for we knew somehow we all had helped one another through the journey. Some of us had been friends since kindergarten. Though our lives took different paths our hearts were all planted in the same place and we had an understanding. As ten years has come and gone and I look back on those girls sitting on the lakeside I just smile as they are still some of my favorite people and though we are ten years older our spirits are still those little girls laughing and giggling about their magic eight ball of plans for the future.