Friday, August 29, 2014

Return to Bartlesville

It is amazing that 30 years has passed so quickly since my high school graduation. A class reunion. My first one. I missed the previous ones apparently. Thank goodness for Facebook, I guess it is worth something, if at least we are able to briefly stay in touch with friends so far away. This weekend was about remembering the past. Remembering the neighborhoods we played in, the restaurants we ate at, the trouble some of us got into and the laughs we all shared. Maybe even a few tears.

Visiting back home has always been a bit difficult for me ever since my father passed away in '85. Just tough memories and things never really felt the same. I should have made a better effort to overcome that and stay in touch with family and friends. Now that my mother is now gone there are less reasons to return. A brief business transaction during our visit to resolve my mothers estate will close the roots to this hometown of mine. I will forever now be just a visitor to Bartlesville.

The reunion was a great opportunity to visit and become reacquainted with long lost friends. Some going back all the way to kindergarten. That is amazing to have known friends that long.....and we can still be friends......even if I did unravel Martha's napping rug 42 years ago on the floor of Garfield Elementrary. 

There were others that became close friends at McKinley Elementary where we began playing and developing those fond memories. So fun recalling the times when we were forced to square dance in PE class. My former partners Kim and Jamie were there......good thing the band didn't play any oh down music to revive any of those 'two step' moves. And of course Scotty and Rob were there to remind me of all the mischief we....okay mainly into back then. Many of my close friends weren't able to make it back for the gathering. It felt a little incomplete without them.

Middle School and then High School accumulated even more relationships as each elementary feed into Central Jr. High. That building still looks great. What a classic piece of historic architecture. Football began in those years and a new kind of bonding with the guys occurred. So many people in Jr. High that it was difficult to make friendships.....or at least for me.....stricken with a terrible case of shyness.

College High School and Sooner High became Bartlesville High as our city combined our cross town rival into one conglomerate in '83 with 500+ in each class. New friends and new adventures so many with what seemed like such a short period of time that it was hard to get too close. This reunion allowed us to finally know a little more about each other.

Thirty years ago I probably had more insecurities and struggles trying to figure out who I was back then. The reunion reminded me of that and even though I am far from that shy little boy of ages ago some of those feelings resurfaced.....feeling a little out of place in a town I once called home. Do we try to justify who we have now become to all of our friends? Maybe. I'm not sure that it matters anymore to anyone. We have all grown up and I think most just like seeing and chatting with each other for a short time. At the close of the weekend most of us will all retreat back to our homes in distant far away places and slip back into the comfort that we have wrapped ourselves up in. There is nothing wrong with that. I am envious of those who have maintained close relationships or even stayed nearby. I don't think there can ever be anyone as close as those you grew up with.

Speaking of knowing me while I grew up.....I was probably a jerk to some back then. I deeply apologize for any stupid stuff I did back in those days. Can I blame it on teenage hormones and adolescents? I hope so. Just so you know I did grow out of that......mostly.

I didn't get around to posting this for one reason or another. I have had the chance to ponder all of the event and run things through my mind several times. It wasn't necessarily all that I had hoped mostly because there were so many that I hung out with that didn't make it to the event. It was nice to talk with friends and hear how they were doing and what they were doing in their lives. And others I got to know a little better. Probably hardly talked with some from high school days for one reason or another.....probably mostly due to shyness. It was nice to talk and make 'new' friends from some of the old friends. Still there were others that I never got the opportunity to "meet" at the reunion. Maybe some of that separation is still there like high school. Who knows, maybe we still don't have anything in common.

Regardless, it did make me a little homesick. Funny saying that because I have lived in Virginia Beach longer than I ever lived in Bartlesville. This is my home now......this is where I belong. The other is just a distant memory that sometimes feels like a dream.

Some times dreams are best left as dreams. I don't see me venturing back to Bartlesville often, maybe for the next big reunion. My brother and my sister who still live there don't often communicate. Until my mothers funeral I hadn't spoke with them for over ten years. Unforately I fear that it will have to be another tragedy to bring us back together. Life is funny like that.

Through all the hurdles growing up, I really didn't have many, I still think Bartlesville was one of the best places to grow up. I had great memories as a child. Some bigger than they probably actually were......that's okay, memories are supposed to be that way.

A salute to my friends of the class of '84..... The best there is! 
Stay safe until the next time.

D. Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's Come Down To This

Pretty sad that it has come down to this. My family that is. I always believed growing up that I had a close family. A family that cared for one another. Apparently I was seriously wrong. We are no different than any other television drama show. 

It was just eight short months ago we were all together in our home town burying our mother. All were friendly. All were accommodating one another. I guess that was just a show. 

Once my father passed away the separation began. Somewhere between my father's death and maybe 12 years ago the fall out begin. I don't think I know why or really never understand. My sister stopped talking to my mother. My mother argued about my sister. My oldest brother helped my mom. 

Same time neither my oldest brother nor my sister ever talked with me. My brother visited with us once when he drove mom out from Oklahoma. Otherwise neither of them called, wrote or came over when we visited home. 

Really not sure what I did. Maybe I was just naive about it all. 

Today I received a voice mail that really cuts to the heart. Maybe they don't care. Maybe I shouldn't either anymore. Maybe it's time to fade back once again and disappear. They don't want me our my family apart of theirs. 

Sad. Hurtful. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Run Run where are the results?

I RUN to stay healthy. Not so much physically fit, or slim or anything related to my looks. I RUN because I'm a diabetic. And I run because for me it is the best way to control all the factors of diabetes. Or at least that is the plan. 

To loose weight regardless of what some may say, it is always about diet and excercise. ALWAYS!

Being a diabetic is always challenging because the rules (for each person) are always changing. Once you think you figured something out that works, you body goes ahead and switches up the rules. NOT FAIR! In March my numbers for A1C were down to 7.4 which I was a bit surprised at how good they were. Still not great but improving. Improving enough that the doctor took my off one of the meds.

Nearly five months later and 250 miles of running and my A1C is up to 8.2. A real bummer because this time I felt like I was really trying hard. Weight was up......I knew that. I can see that on the scales. But other signs like my daily blood sugars seemed to be really good.


I could fall back to one side of the war and just retreat saying to myself, "who cares anymore?" However the stubbornness inside makes me want to fight back. So how? 


Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe.