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Old 06-30-2008, 09:56 PM   #1
LaurieDorey
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The gift of seeing how his life affected those around him was the best gift of all in 'Its A Wonderful Life' - well, that and Zuzu's petals...

Tonight I went to the funeral of 44 year old man who died after fighting Lou Gehrig's disease for 3 years. I knew Jackie when we were in our teens. Seeing him and 20 or so folks from my youth was a real wake up call.

I grew up poor in a rich town. Hand me downs and used cars stood out in a designer label new car every year town. I was mocked relentlessly. We spent summers at a much less rich town. As a kid I begged my folks to move there because I fit in there. They refused. After a dozen moves in my adult life, I live in a verrrry rich town, mind you I have to sleep with strangers to afford it but it is crazy rich.

My friend Jack who died, was from the less rich town where I longed to live. It was shocking to me that half the kids I spent summers with were dead. Most of the ones there smoked. Many showed up in dirty jeans, unkept hair like they just cleaned out their basement, not attending a funeral of a life long friend. All of them looked sooo old, I had a tough time recognizing several of them even after they told me thier names. I kept hearing how I looked exactly the same. One guy kept asking me to leave so we could go to a bar and get totally f-d up. Faith of course was in my arms the whole time. I am a 43 year old breast feeding mother, I do not get totally f-d up. A few of them hit on me right in front of their wives. I spent most of my hour there with Jim and Tom. Jim told me that he regularly has s3x with Tom's wife and Tom knows and does not care. That is apparently true. I felt like Larry the Cable guy was going to give the eulogy. It was absolutely bizzare to me how these folks lived. Maybe God knew what he was doing after all (line shamelessly stolen from Garth Brooks)

I grew up in and live now in a place that is above my means and it makes me stretch and struggle. I used to think how much easier my life would be in the summer town. I now realize it would have been awful. It would be the 'rode hard and put away wet' look I saw in person after person after person. I would be one of the mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation. I'll go back for the next funeral but right now I am clicking my heels and thanking God that there is no place like home...
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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The gift of seeing how his life affected those around him was the best gift of all in 'Its A Wonderful Life' - well, that and Zuzu's petals...

Tonight I went to the funeral of 44 year old man who died after fighting Lou Gehrig's disease for 3 years. I knew Jackie when we were in our teens. Seeing him and 20 or so folks from my youth was a real wake up call.

I grew up poor in a rich town. Hand me downs and used cars stood out in a designer label new car every year town. I was mocked relentlessly. We spent summers at a much less rich town. As a kid I begged my folks to move there because I fit in there. They refused. After a dozen moves in my adult life, I live in a verrrry rich town, mind you I have to sleep with strangers to afford it but it is crazy rich.

My friend Jack who died, was from the less rich town where I longed to live. It was shocking to me that half the kids I spent summers with were dead. Most of the ones there smoked. Many showed up in dirty jeans, unkept hair like they just cleaned out their basement, not attending a funeral of a life long friend. All of them looked sooo old, I had a tough time recognizing several of them even after they told me thier names. I kept hearing how I looked exactly the same. One guy kept asking me to leave so we could go to a bar and get totally f-d up. Faith of course was in my arms the whole time. I am a 43 year old breast feeding mother, I do not get totally f-d up. A few of them hit on me right in front of their wives. I spent most of my hour there with Jim and Tom. Jim told me that he regularly has s3x with Tom's wife and Tom knows and does not care. That is apparently true. I felt like Larry the Cable guy was going to give the eulogy. It was absolutely bizzare to me how these folks lived. Maybe God knew what he was doing after all (line shamelessly stolen from Garth Brooks)

I grew up in and live now in a place that is above my means and it makes me stretch and struggle. I used to think how much easier my life would be in the summer town. I now realize it would have been awful. It would be the 'rode hard and put away wet' look I saw in person after person after person. I would be one of the mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation. I'll go back for the next funeral but right now I am clicking my heels and thanking God that there is no place like home...
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:19 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LaurieDorey:
Maybe God knew what he was doing after all (line shamelessly stolen from Garth Brooks)
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or your parents did.

Yeah, quite the bunch of classy individuals, aren't they? As crappy and depressing as an experience like that can be; if it serves as a reminder of how good your life REALLY is, at least by comparison, then maybe it's a good thing.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #5
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I know what you mean here...I've experienced the same thing....
After I left WI and moved to Vegas I never got back much. I went back for a couple weeks before I moved down here because I knew I'd probably never get back. I ran into several people I grew up with and it made me look like the poster child for good health or something. The worst was seeing my high school sweetheart....dumpy over weight farmers wife with a half dozen kids....wow....there goes the t-shirt and levi fantasy....it was sad really. A bunch of us got together one night and they all thought I was some kind of God because I left and did something with myself and never looked back...It was sad to see them that way but it was also an inspiration for me that I was doing OK.....
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:45 AM   #6
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sounds fumiliar, seems there is no going back, I tried in MO, I don't even relate to my relatives there. In fact in the town I moved to everyone seemed to like to stare at us. I certainly hold my age better then they do,I wonder, if moving is not a prerec to staying young.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:22 PM   #7
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I can relate LD. If I want to experience something surreal all I have to do is visit the old hometown. I tend to get the "I can't believe you got married" or "you have a kid" reaction. As youngsters we tend to do alot of comparing ourselves to our peers. Can't think of any of them I envy at all now. In fact, it makes me feel damn good about myself. As a teacher this is something I tell my students all the time. In a few short years it won't matter who your friends were or who you impressed in high school. Be yourself and don't try and change to please anyone but yourself.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Ok, I keep replying then something happens. argh. Thank you for letting me know I was not alone in this experience. What was so noteworthy to me is that this was not my hometown, rather my fantasy town. I am so very lucky that wish never came true.

In my hometown everyone knew my dad as "Big Al" and he was just a beloved good soul. Folks would call me Al's daughter and I'd stomp my feet and pout and correct them by screeching "I'm Laurie!" Well, fast forward 20 years after moving away and I was in town for a funeral - dang, I realllllly do need to get out more - anyway, I ran in to a dozen or so folks I knew, and as they tried to place me and say "Oh, you're Laurie C---" I was proudly exclaiming "I'm Al's daughter!"

I hope I remember that paradigm shift when Faith is ashamed to be my daughter and longs to be known as "Faith", that if I wait it out long enough, and if I do even half the job my daddy did, she'll hold her head up high and smile one day as she corrects "I'm Laurie's daughter"

So I hope it is for us all.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I hope I remember that paradigm shift </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Funny...I had a paradigm shift a couple weeks ago with a 30 yr old....
I'm still walking funny and I'll remember it for years to come....
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