February 22, 2008

Volume 15: 1984

…..in retrospection.
June 6, 1984….I must have been terribly bored that day. Double page journal entry in a hard bound sketchbook, 11x14.

Duck: The alarm: “It’s really annoying.” I had trouble not laughing at that. Obviously he had yanked the catheter out sometime in the afternoon as there were fresh signs of cleaning on him and in his room. And they really want to leave this in until he sees the urologist?

Me: Glorious company over a very fattening dinner. Carrie is starting her new life slowly. Bravo for doing it her way. We are blessed to know her.

G: Went of to work singing something about “Friday.”

Work: Padre’s 2008 Schedule.
My morning was filled by scanning wonderful photos. If I had let myself, I could have been sucked right in to how perfect this all was. How beautiful the people. Yachting. Smiling for the camera. The couples marching across the pages all look so young and perfect. The water is always clear, the sails always white, and the friendships forever young.

Here in the pages of my journals, everything always stays the same in and beautiful color.

I have to be very careful in my thinking. There was nothing perfect or permanent about the people. Even the institutions changed. Although in 1984, the newspaper had said that this might be the last year the Star of India sailed, she’s still sailing. The Mission Beach Plunge looks permanent and had been dedicated as a Historical Site, but the building is gone. Friendships gone too. Gene didn’t speak to me before his death, nor does his wife now. One of the father’s of my grandchildren never recovered from his alcoholism and has suffered a massive heart attack at a young age. But there is hope. Another of the young men has a new life and a new family….happily ever after sort of thing.

I cannot allow myself to dwell in memory or in sadness for that what is gone. Neither can I allow myself the liberty of denial….that comes too easily. Most importantly of all, I cannot allow the misery of resentments any space in what remains of my mind. That kind of thinking makes my job of scanning these memories even harder.

Lenora working with students in the Adaptive Swimming Class, Mission Beach Plunge, 1984.

The truth wasn’t a happy lot at all. Not only were G and I newly sober and not getting treatment of any kind, but we almost got a divorce over the Datsun 510’s.

What happened?

We got a free, new body for my old, battered, many colored, 510, and G switched out the engine. From the beginning, it never worked right, and I depended on it to get me to work. He put months of labor into it, and it still didn’t work. His kindness and caring and thoughtfulness ended in bitterness. I drank again finding an excuse; he didn’t. Then again, he was so depressed he didn’t know if he was coming or going.

Lenora, Marie, and their brother Z...with Georgette in the second picture. 1984.

I’m very grateful for the now and remain awfully glad I saved bits of the past to be viewed in this now. But it is in the past. For those of us who live happily in the now, we must look at the past through especially clear glasses.


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                      I like this flag photograph a lot.   It’s an old shot, and one of my really old cranky computers reduce...