Monday, August 31, 2009

Memory from a Zeta Sister

"I was just talking to a neighbor who is a Zeta at Sam Houston State, and I had a flashback. Remember when we would leave early for class and sit on the wall in front of the Math Bldg just to people watch? I haven't taken the time to do something like that in years." -- KMP

I received this comment on Facebook from a sorority sister I haven’t seen face to face in over 30 years. Sadly my immediate answer is “No, Karen, I don’t remember that at all.” But then I pause, I close my eyes and I see those girls. I see us in our long 70’s hair and bell-bottomed jeans perhaps a peasant blouse or a Zeta Tau Alpha t-shirt. We are casual friends – sisters – pledged into the same class. I haven’t had contact with her in years and yet today she brings me a very real moment in time.

I can only see it in my mind’s eye. My memory feels so foggy from that time of life, but as I stop and pause, I feel the moment in my body. Tears form in my eyes and my stomach tightens just a bit. They are tears & tightening that cover the span of life - joy, sorrow, loss, memory. I know that girl who has become this woman. She was doing things as a college student that she – that I – love to do today. The woman I thought was never there - the one I thought didn’t come out to bloom until only recently - was laying the groundwork for me there on the campus of Oklahoma State University. She was there all along sitting on the wall in front of the Math Building, people watching. I thought that girl never existed. Now I know that she was there all along. I simply let her be surrounded by the fog of life, but today someone who walked beside me way back then helped lift that fog. A friend held the memory for me. Today I remember and I am blessed.

Today, I vow to find a spot along a wall or sidewalk – perhaps with a friend – perhaps on my own. I will take Karen with me if only in my heart and together those girls of the 70’s who have become women of the 21st century will take the time to sit and watch. Maybe you will join me. Or perhaps you will share a memory with a friend. The best gifts often come in the simplest forms!!

Peace be with you, friend Karen. Thank you for the sweet memory.


14 comments:

Abbey of the Arts said...

Hmmm, sounds like a poem is waiting to be born from this moment memory. :-) Definitely something worth cherishing. xoxo

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Lucy - my thoughts exactly re the poem. Your post gave me goosebumps, we must continue to uncover these spots of our youth. They are so meaningful to our adulthood (that word, adulthood, sounds old doesn't it) anyway, a beautiful remembrance and of course, I hadn't even remembered that you were pledged in a sorority - duh!!! Me too, do you remember the name of mine:) And I don't remember you in long hair - as in below your shoulders????

lucy said...

C--yes, i do believe i could spend the whole day in poetry, writing, memory mode. i also have a list of whatever...think i'll go sit :-)

ss--yes, those memories that i had no idea were there do keep coming. this was a very sweet one indeed, since it is so reminiscent of who i am today!!

you were an alpha chi omega...it was my second choice, but they were all peppy blondes and the zetas were more down to earth. you must have missed the long hair (several instances actually) during your "foggy" days. i'll have to see if i can come up with a pic or two.

sending much much love to two of my very favorite ladies!! can't think of a much better way to start the day!!! xoxooxo

Anonymous said...

I am there with you on an island in South Texas. Wilson

Kate Iredale said...

Lovely post Lucy. I too have been "finding" myself recently in old memories and even old photographs. For so many years I didn't feel connected with those younger versions of myself at all but now I'm able to see to young girl and woman was lurking there all along, waiting to be seen and released! I can even "see" myself in my baby photographs now when I was never able to before.

I'm now acknowledging that person who was there all along waiting to be released and so I'm now able to see her!

kigen said...

I love, I understand this deeply. Nothing can stop you now, Lucy!

BTW, Lucy is the most mature cartoon character I know of –– she's no Dennis the Menace –– and yet of course she holds on to the enlightened heart of a child. That's why she can hang out that shingle "Psychiatric help 5-cents," and we all want to hire her as our Spiritual Director!

As You Wish said...

Lucy, your story draws many parallels to recently "re-(a)quired" memories of my own Zeta Tau Alpha experiences. Ahhh, the joys of technology like facebook and blogging and Twitter. I dare say I'm closer to my Zeta sisters now than I was even then. It's lovely to meet you in this way, too.

zeta love,
Lori

Anonymous said...

Wow, what started as a simple flashback has turned into a walk down memory lane. I have found myself doing this a lot more lately, especially since reconnecting with friends on FB. Talking to a college girl who is going through the same things we did 30 years ago made it seem like some of these memories just happened yesterday.

I don't remember what year we did this, but it might have been the semester we shared the room with 2 others. Our first classes after lunch were near each other, so we left the house about 10 minutes early, walked to the wall, and sat there in the fresh spring air watching the people walk by. Try to let the "fog" lift from this time and see if it brings back some other memories.

I'm happy to have taken this journey with you.

KMP

Barbara said...

Makes me want to call Mary Ellen down in Maryland and see how she is doing. We went to undergrad college together, she studied Poli Sci and I Chem. We weren't close friends back then, but it was a very small school and we got together decades later. We have a really long chat at least once a year.

lucy said...

wilson--those memories of padre island would fill volumes, but they would all need to be kept under lock and key methinks :-)

kate--it is so wild. as i look at the very few candid pictures of me as a child i am stunned by the clues that are in those snapshots -- me riding a go-cart, traveling, sitting in my kindergarten class. they all offer glimpses of who i am today as i welcome all of me into life! thank you for so beautifully articulating what i am experiencing :-)

kigen--i adore the offering you see in lucy. when i was tagged her as a moniker, i could only see the prissy, uppity side of her. more and more, however, i appreciate her maturity and playfulness and what i am certain is a deep consideration for others. 5 cents please :-)

lucy said...

lori -- what a pleasure to find another sister in this way. the serendipity of this electronic age is really quite amazing if you ask me. in years past, people could disappear forever. now we at least have a chance of reconnecting in the meaningful ways of which you speak. zeta love,

kmp--it must have been the spring of our sophomore year. i have been racking my brain to remember who else i lived with in the house. you have helped another piece of the puzzle fall into place. we lived in that four=girl room on the front of the house with wilson and i can't remember who else. can you? i still absolutely adore people watching. i am so delighted to have this memory returning!

barbara--call her now!!! do it!

Anonymous said...

I think it was the spring of our sophomore year. We lived in that 4 girl with Cindy G. and Keri V. E. I remember we were upset after room selection because we could have had the Sundeck room. My earlier comment about "letting the fog lift" referred to their smoking - you always made your bed because they would sit on it and smoke. I have other memories about that room, but that is for another time and place.

I'm not offended or worried that you don't remember. I have been told that I have a "freakish" memory for this kind of thing. Strange thing is, I can remember this, but I can't remember a book I finished last week or a movie I saw last month.

KMP

lucy said...

kmp--oh yeah, that short term memory thing. well, i feel fortunate to have you and your "freakish" memory on my side. there was definitely a considerable amount of smoke in that room. i think i can still smell it in the leftover parts of my raggedy ann. i would love to pick your brain for a few "offline" memories :-)

Anonymous said...

My memory is one of my most prized possessions. Losing it is the thing I fear most about growing older. When my son tells me "I told you...", and I don't remember, I have to tell myself that he did not tell me...

So here is the analytical me. I think I remember specific details about things that I "actively" participated in - such as sitting on that wall watching people, getting sick in Florida when I was 12, or my first date with my husband in Tulsa. But when I "passively" watch tv or read a book, my mind is going a hundred ( or a million) different directions at the same time, so I don't remember them as well.

Some of my memories are as fresh as the day they happened. I love them, and I will cherish them as long as I can remember them.

KMP