Upon Reflection ...
My life has been no more ordinary nor any
more exciting than most. I grew up, married and
had children, six daughters. We had our good
times, peppered a bit with bad times. Each of
these six girls married and went her separate
way. Finding myself on the path to 100, I
suggested that we have a little reunion. No
husbands, no children. We had only a few days
together and tried to make the most of that
One evening after a lovely dinner that the
girls had cooked in unison, we stayed at the
table talking. Not surprisingly memories began
pouring forth. I suggested that we do this in an
orderly fashion and Lucille could hardly contain
herself. She wanted to be first.
She jumped in —well of course she didn’t
jump, but she was determined to be first. She
had a memory that had seemingly been with her
forever. Although we had heard it many times,
she wanted to tell it again.
Very early in life—anything before sixty is
early to me—I had been given a pair of gold
earrings with green stones. Lucille had admired
them many times as did they all. I had never
told anyone who had given them to me, and I wasn’t
about to reveal that secret now. All the girls
had tried them on, as daughters do when looking
through their mother’s jewelry box . Each one
had coveted them. Lucille especially wanted them
as she claimed they matched her eyes. Finally
before Lucille left home, I relented and gave
them to her. Lucille had been a bit of a
maverick in the family and one day she announced
that she was going to become a Catholic. She
chose St. Anthony as her Patron Saint.
This is Lucille’s memory. One of her
friends had died and somewhat as a tribute to
this friend, Lucille wanted to "dress
up" for the funeral. With other finery she
wore the earrings that had been mine. Shortly
into the funeral Lucille touched her ear as we
do when wearing earrings, and horror of horrors
one earring was missing.
After the funeral she and others searched the
places she had been and finally the earring was
found, somewhat tucked into the collar of the
coat of a friend she had hugged.
Of course Lucille was relieved and joyous,
but she went further with her story. "St
Anthony had found it, she said. She had prayed
to him and he had answered her prayer.
When Luclile had finished Beth said, "My
turn, My turn!! Beth’s story was one which we
all remembered and had ourselves told many times
to each other and elsewhere.
Beth was planning her wedding and because we
all knew Beth to be the "beauty" in
the family, we knew that she would be a
beautiful bride. She wanted everything to be
perfect as of course we all did.
There where showers and more showers. All the
merry making that makes a wedding memorable. At
one of the showers the soft background radio
music was interrupted by the announcement of the
shooting of President Kennedy. Beth cried,
"Oh, my wedding—my wedding."
A hush fell upon the room. There is no
denying that a cloud had been cast over the
festivities, as there had been over all the
country. But of course the wedding wasn’t
canceled. Beth was as beautiful a bride as we
all knew she would be; the guests had a
wonderful time at the reception. . We bid her
and John "Goodbye" and they left for
She later told us that she has the lingering
feeling that the South was unwelcome to them.
South thinking the North was blaming the South
for Mr. Kennedy’s death.
The girls were all at home when their father
died. Both money and location made it necessary
that we move. Shortly after the death Ginger was
married and left home. Both the death of her
father and moving was sad, she said. However,
there was a new beginning for her and for the
sisters. That helped to cheer her.
Ginger had another memory she wanted to tell.
She remembered the first time she had ever
danced with a boy. She was 13, and she’ll
never forget that they danced to Barbra
Streisand singing, "People." Did I
really agree to Ginger going to a dance when she
The enthusiasm was waning. We left the table,
had a bedtime snack and promised to assemble the
next day and continue our memories.
The first memory that day was Julia’s. She
began by announcing that she had two memories
and wanted to tell them both. One was of
shopping with me and the other was a sledding
story. As it turned out they were very brief.
Julia was always to the point.
The first recollection was of shopping at
Safeway. She didn’t know what we were buying.
It may have been sandwich meat for school
lunches. She said the butcher gave her a piece
of bologna, and oh it was so good. (All that fat
and salt Yummy!)
The other was of putting one skate on a board
and zooming down a hill. That was all she said.
I wish she had told more as I don’t remember
that at all.
That part of Julia’s story may well have
happened during the time of Carolyn’s story,
which was also about sledding and entailed a
great amount of work by the girls’ father.
Carolyn remembered their father cutting down
trees in the woods behind our house. I don’t
know how many trees he cut but it seemed to take
a long time. Some were big and some were small,
but eventually they had been cut, and a sled run
"She said, "it seemed to take a
long time but finally the path was clear, and we
had years of flying down the hill on cold snowy
days. It was great fun—the climb back up the
We were coming to the end of what had been a
fun family exercise, but hadn’t heard from
Anne, yet. She had a memory that we could all
identify with. She told of applying for a job
advertised in the "Washington Post
"Alan called to tell me that I got the job.
I ran to tell mother, ripped the newspaper to
shreds and scattered them around the room. I was
We thought the evening had ended when the
telephone rang. Jennifer, our new neighbor,
having heard that the girls were home, wanted to
come over and meet them. I told her about our
story telling and she had one she wanted to
She recalled a Christmas Eve, when her family
had come together to unwrap gifts, and eat the
traditional filet of beef. She said, "We
were opening gifts but mother stopped to take
the roast out of the oven and put it on the
kitchen table, then returned to the gift
opening. The smell of the beef was tantalizing.
When the rest of the family went to the kitchen
to help get the dinner on the table, there was
no roast. Everyone thinking it had been hidden,
looked everywhere. Alas, there was no roast.
"Prince our lovely old dog, sat looking
pleased with himself. Actually he was smiling as
if to say, ‘Thank you for a lovely Christmas
dinner.’ Every bit of the roast was gone and
the pan had been licked clean. We scrounged the
freezer and the fridge for OUR Christmas
Now it was over. Jennifer felt welcomed into
the neighborhood. The girls were happy to have
been home and with each other. Would we do this
again? Where will we all be next year? Everyone
voted these three days as having been one of the
best of all reunions.