Monday, September 16, 2013

20 Years...

Recently my class that I graduated with celebrated our 20 year class reunion. I am not really sure where the time has gone, nor do I think my fellow classmates know where it has gone.  I talk to several of my classmates and have for years and see them every few years.  So I wasn't too sad that I missed the class reunion.  I know the committee worked hard on the reunion for almost 2 years.  So I thank them.

As some of my classmates may remember, I was close to several of the teachers in the English department. One in particular was a second mom for me. When my own mama was busy taking care of my sick brother, she was there. She gave me advice when I needed it to survive high school drama, and I must admit I did get a little special treatment from all the English teachers. My senior year, she told me she was not going to let me graduate if I could not spell supposed right.  So Ms. Emily Buckhannon,
S-U-P-P-O-S-E-D!  I graduated!

I called her the other night because it was her birthday and I had been thinking about her, a lot. I just needed to make sure she was okay.  She is.  It was good to catch up. I feel bad that I have hardly had contact with her over the years, after all, she was so important in my life.

She told me she was taking care of another one of my English teachers Judy Laughlin, who was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She was given 6-8 months to live... Three years ago!  She is a fighter!  Emily takes her to all her appointments and takes notes so everyone knows what is going on.  One day when they went to a Chemo appointment, they had a substitute nurse.  The nurse asked Judy if Emily was her daughter.  Judy was appalled!  She said "no!  She is my friend!! Not my daughter!"

Judy never had any children. So Emily technically could be.

Emily is a Saint.  To be there for someone who has no one else. To be there and see Judy at her worst. They taught together for years!

I pray for Judy every night. I pray that she remains strong and upbeat and that she has more good days than bad.  She was told that her cancer is not curable, but treatable.  That day they received the news, was the first time I tried calling Emily because she had been on my mind and needed to see if she was okay.  Divine intervention? I believe it was.  I now have ways to contact both of these remarkable women, whom each had an influence in my life.

In October 1993, when my grandfather died, Emily and Judy and a few other English teachers all came to his funeral.  This was months after I had graduated from high school and was in my first year of college.

So these women are special and I am sorry I lost contact with them. You forget how important people are to you until the truth of their mortality hits you.

Judy is 72 years old and fighting. I am in her corner, along with Emily cheering her on!

Here's to you Judy! Keep up the fight! I know you can do it!  And there are a few other former students cheering you on too.

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