jeff noel’s original email reply to Lorie…
Perfect timing with your note.
Been writing most of the day.
Am trying something radical, instead of waking up with no clue what the five blogs will be about…just wake up, think, go, write.
In two weekends, the goal is to crank out 155 posts.
Is that not crazy? Wonder what I’d think of me if I was on the outside looking in. Some sort of compulsive, freakish person who ought to get a life… 🙂
Or maybe a man driven by the ticking clock, racing to catch up, or make up, for squandered years….the 1st 40 were all about me.
Lorie Sheffer’s reply to jeff noel:
“Squandered years”. Oh how I envy you! I think we should all have some squandered years, when it’s all about us. What a luxury. Imagine if you had Chapin a month after you turned 20. Imagine being 25 and having 2 kids and two marriages.
But you know what? If we changed even one single detail about our past it could alter what our lives are right now, and in ways that we may find unbearable. Leave out even one minor detail, and it could change life as we know it.
When I was 17, all I wanted was to get the Hell out of York. I had this dream of living in a large city and going to discos (Hey! It was the 70s!) and having quite the life. I had no clue what I was going to be doing to support that life, but I knew I would be single for years and years. I was not going to get married till I was at LEAST 40, and I didn’t like kids, so they were totally not even a consideration. Three years later I was living in a tiny town on the Pennsylvania Maryland line, with a cheating, drug using husband and a baby. So much for big dreams! Every one of my friends except for one went about their lives as if they had never known me. They were busy with college parties and newfound freedom.
I thought that since I had my kids when I was so young that I would hit 40 and finally it would be ME time. But then Gary had his stroke and then my grandson came along and then my brother got cancer and then our cousin/friend died and then Dad got sick……. I’m still waiting. You think about the years that were all about you and I think of the years that were never about me. The road not travelled.
But like I said, if we think about what would have been or could have been, it’s just a waste. It is what it is. Not to say that I don’t appreciate my life, because I do. My family means the world to me. My family means the world to me. By family, I mean not only those who are related by blood but also those who always have a room at my house.
Anyway, Jeff, I will bet that clock began to tick really loud for you when your dad got sick. I know how Gary began to kind of worry about his own health when his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He has brain damage from his stroke, which is a known risk factor, and genetics going against him. Those factors can’t be controlled, but he takes such good care of himself he is probably not at any more risk than the average person. Still, if he can’t remember a name I can tell it hits an internal panic button that wasn’t there a few years ago. You and he will both probably live to be 100.
You are who you are because of what you have been, and you are a wonderful person. If you were on the outside looking in, you would like what you saw. I had no contact with you since 1977. I missed the “squandered years”. What I am seeing through your writing is that you are not that different from the kid I knew in 4th grade, the one who spoke with wonder and awe about the little newts he had found in the woods behind his house. That little boy didn’t have to say that he treated them gently; it went without saying.