My mother Emily Monroe. In hindsight, she was probably the best mother anyone could have. She was a teacher in a country school when she and Dad got married, but chose to stay home until her youngest of three entered kindergarten. Once she went back to teaching school, she picked up her bachelors and master’s degrees while raising us.
She again taught in a country school until she started teaching second grade in a small town school. Although she could have moved on to bigger school systems, she liked the atmosphere and camaraderie of the small town. There is so much more I could share about her life, but suffice it to say – she was one of the best! Here she is riding a three-wheel Honda.
Aunt Edith Sawyer. She was my mother’s younger sister. She died at the age of fifteen from scarlet fever; mom was seventeen at the time. As I write this, I’m looking at a framed eight by ten inch of her last school picture. She was a beautiful young woman who died too soon. I’m named after her and would have loved to known her. Mom said she was one of the most loving, cheerful people she had ever known.
My Grandma Hallie Monroe. Grandma Hallie (pictured) was my Dad’s mother and lived in the small town where Mom taught, seven miles from the town where we lived. I’ve always felt a kinship with her and loved to spend time at her home. She passed away suddenly of a heart attack on Father’s Day in 1966 as I was on the verge of going into my second year of college. That summer, lost in my grief and angry at my mother, I made a series of bad decisions, starting with not going back to college that led me down a misguided path.
Aunt Leta Simmons. She was actually my mother’s aunt by marriage who lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where my mother was born and raised. Aunt Leta created the most wonderful ceramics from her home kiln, and I collected quite a few over the years. She later became a favorite of my daughters as they were growing up.
Every time we went up north, she would get into a particular card game with the girls, Mom, or anyone else who was around. She was a former teacher, tiny in build; and a very special lady who had lived a hard life in a rather baron area of the UP. But she was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
My Twin. This might sound strange, but my father shared this information with my sister and me the night before I moved from Michigan to Arizona almost ten years ago. I think he thought he would never see me again, and for some reason felt the need to share.
I’m the oldest of three, and apparently Mom had a miscarriage when she was pregnant for me. A couple of months later she realized she was still pregnant, the doctor confirmed, and a few months after that, I was born. I miss not knowing my twin. I would have liked to know whether it was a boy or a girl, what it would have been like to have a sibling my same age, and what adventures we would have had.
Dave D. Believe it or not, I miss my ex-husband. We had little touch with one another for a while after our divorce except through our daughters. He remarried, but later divorced while I remained single. Later on we kept running into one another and had a couple of very good conversations. It was obvious we still cared for one another. Neither of us was dating others when he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of forty-eight. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if he had not passed away.
Patty, Carole, and Barb. I’m going to lump them together as they were my best friends in high school and I would love to know what they are doing. Patty and I connected up about six years ago for a short time, but we were moving in different directions – she was going through a divorce and moving away while I was just arriving in our small town to take care of Dad. I’ve tried to find Carole, but have not had any success. I found her younger sister on FB when I first joined, but before I could ask her about Carole, she disappeared. I am in the process of reconnecting with Barb via Facebook; hopefully, we will chat soon.
Debbie. When I lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area after my divorce (spent five years there), Debbie was my best friend. We met through the Marine Corp where I worked and she had just completed her stint in the Marines. We got to be good friends and especially enjoyed going to the local clubs.
Disco was just getting a toe-hold into the dancing scene and we had a blast dancing the night away with the mostly-Marine’s guys that also hung out there, and then we would honor our pact and leave together, no matter who we met. Just plain, clean, good ole fun. About the time I moved back to Michigan, she was moving back to her hometown in Ohio. Not that far apart, but we eventually lost track of one another.
A varied list, but I miss every one of them. Lots of great memories, and pictures of at least some of them, keep them in mind.