I’m sure as heck not a very religious adult, but I rather admire the religious kid I used to be.
I took Lent pretty darn seriously. Well, for six days a week for those six weeks, anyway. I’m not exactly sure why I thought that Sundays didn’t count. Jiminy Crickets, perhaps it was true, and the nuns told me that I could skip my sacrifices on Sunday. I don’t remember. But I do remember having more than one bleeping Hershey bar at my Babci’s on Sunday.
Yes, like most kids (and perhaps half of all freakin’ adults) I usually gave up candy for Lent. I tried once getting away with giving up only hard candy (which I didn’t like much anyway), but my mother informed me that it wasn’t a sacrifice if I didn’t give up my favorite kind of candy. Which for crissakes was chocolate. I also tried once to tell her that my Lenten sacrifice was personal and private, and that I shouldn’t have to tell her. Holy mackerel. That did not go over.
But Geez, there wasn’t a lot of choice for a child-friendly sacrifice. I didn’t really love much of anything else. Popcorn, maybe. But my mother made popcorn only once a week at most – and never during Lent – so that wasn’t a viable option. I loved my dolls, but heck, it didn’t seem fair to the dolls to put them in a closet for six weeks.
I couldn’t give up TV. I wanted to make a gosh-darn sacrifice. Not kill myself. Besides, my parents wouldn’t have given up the TV. And not only because they loved it themselves; the flipping TV set was about the only thing that kept us kids from killing each other.
And speaking of fighting: One year the nun told the class that we should do something for Lent that would have a more lasting effect than saving up the dad-gum chocolate for Easter Sunday. She told us to pick the sin that we had to confess most often, and to give up that motherlover for Lent. That maybe it would change us for good.
Holy Crap, fighting with my sisters and my little brother was not only at the top of my confession list, it was about the only blasted thing on my list. (Oh, for the simpler life of a poopy nine-year-old). I didn’t steal, I didn’t covet (whatever the heck that was), I didn’t skip Mass on Sundays. I didn’t lie much – I certainly did not consider it a sin to make my stories more interesting – that’s a fricking virtue, right?
So that year, I decided to give up my sibling fights for those six weeks. Let me tell you, the next year I gladly gave up darn chocolate again.
Then there was the year that the nun said that instead of giving UP something, you should effing DO something. Her suggestion was to pray more. Well, shucks, I liked praying. Not so much because I thought it did a lot of good, but because I had always liked the repetition and rhythm of prayers. Sort of like meditating I guess. But golly gee, if I already LIKED it, what kind of sacrifice is it to do more of it? Like accepting a second dang Hershey bar.
She also suggested making a donation to the poor. I had a winter scarf I really hated. It was crap-brown plaid. My mother made me wear it – along with a hat and mittens and boots and snow-pants and an extra sweater or two. I put the crap-brown plaid scarf in the poor box (I considered adding the cussed snow-pants too). At the end of the day, the nun retrieved the scarf and called my mother, which was completely blankety-blank unfair. I’m sure some poor kid somewhere would have worn that fugly scarf. A cold, fugly boy, maybe.
And even now that I am a fecking grown-up, son-of-a-gun if I don’t still like the idea of making a sacrifice during Lent. But I have already given up shopping for one whole geedee month (for monetary purposes, not Lent). And that’s one heckuva of a sacrifice, so I just didn’t know what for Pete’s sake I could choose.
Then this sucky laptop got some doggone malware. Golly, I was p’d off.
Jeepers Creepers! Was this a crappin’ sign? I couldn’t give up the freaking internet. No fugging way.
But I found something else to give up!
And I’m doing really bleeping well, don’t you think?
(PS: For a good post on Lent and Ash Wednesday – head on over to Pegoleg. Holy Crap, did she ever bring back memories. I hated the doggone ashes.)
(While my computer undergoes a (hopefully) brief hospitalization, here’s a poem from my poetry site With Resistance.)
The List Of Us
In my father’s wallet
one small sheet
torn from a notebook
folded and re-folded
sliced through in the crease
and in my father’s careful hand
were all his children’s names
and our spouses’ names
and their birthdates
and the grandchildren
and their spouses
and in shakier letters
The conspiracy of years
schemes against us
but my father
refused to forget
and carried with him
the names and numbers of his immortality.
When I wrote last month about the jewelry box my mother bought for me when I was twelve, several people located the box for sale on the web (the same place I found the photo) and suggested I buy it again. For the memory of it. But I don’t need to buy someone else’s similar box to sweeten that memory.The memory is sweet enough.
Of course, some people were shocked that I ever let it go. My husband for one. He could not see why I would give away something that had so much meaning to me. But the meaning was still there even if the box was gone. And I wanted my niece to open that little piano-shaped box and hear “Fascination.” It didn’t matter if her pleasure was short-lived, if she enjoyed it for a while and then forgot it, or broke it, or threw the box away. That box was a joy to me that I wanted to share, even for just a little while.
My husband has lots of his old toys in our cellar. He wanted to keep his crib and mattress too. I had a difficult time convincing him that his childhood is not a shrine. I don’t think I ever completely succeeded.
But you know what I wish I kept?
My library card.
It looked sort of like this:
At the Bristol Public Library, you could get your own library card when you were seven, with the only other requirement being that you had to write your own name on the card. No printing – you had to write cursive – as a sign of your maturity I guess. So I practiced for a few weeks before my seventh birthday. And I could do it. Here’s my nine-year-old signature inside my prayer book:
It was a good thing I wasn’t Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. I got my card.
(As an aside, my mother just this week laughingly said she rued the day that my sister ever learned to sign her name. She signed up for everything. She once signed up for the city-wide tennis tournament. Only she had never played tennis.)
How I loved the library! My mother told me that the Public Library was best thing the world had ever invented. You can take home anything you want to read, and in a few weeks, bring it back, and read anything else you want to read. For FREE. Can you imagine that?
I went to the library every week. They let me take six books at a time. I would read one book there, and then take six home. So that way I got seven. I thought this was very clever – and sneaky – of me.
I liked books about girls. Animals were okay. No boys.
My favorite girl was Madeline. My favorite animal was Ferdinand. No favorite boys.
As I got a little older, and pictures became less important (but I still like a great illustration, as you know, if you have seen most of my previous posts), I still wanted girly-girl stories. The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Pollyanna, Heidi. Nothing is quite as wonderful as a destitute and mistreated orphan.
When I was really small, the Children’s section of the Bristol Library was in the basement of the old building.
The Children’s Library had a separate entrance on the side of the building that took you down into the rather dark small room. But sometime in my mid-childhood, the Library built an addition.
The new Children’s Library still had its own entrance, and there was a passageway (a very forbidden passageway) that connected the Adult Library to the Children’s Library.
The new addition was big and light with aisles full of shelves. And a separate section for pre-schoolers, so us big kids who wrote cursive didn’t have to even go near the baby books.
And there was a small section of Young Adult reading. There wasn’t really a YA genre back then. So these shelves held mostly Classics. I had no use for Treasure Island or Great Expectations, since they were all about stupid boys. But in my meandering through this section I stumbled upon: The Book That Made Me An English Major.
It was Jane Eyre. I was ten years old. I wasn’t allowed to check out a book from the Young Adult section until I was twelve. But I would sit on the floor, hidden by the bookshelves, and read the first chapter. It was hard going for ten. I read the first few pages over and over again. And when I was eleven, the librarian bent the rules and let me take the book home. It took me a month to read Jane Eyre. And I didn’t understand most of it. But I understood Romance when I saw it. And I liked it.
I re-read Jane Eyre in high school. And in college, I made Jane the subject of a term paper. By that time I saw more than simple romance. I saw how subversive this book actually was. With the mores of the day, Bronte could hardly have Jane marry an already-married man – so Bertha had to die. However, Jane returned to Rochester not knowing that Bertha was dead. It does seem that she was prepared to live in sin with a married man, while his crazy wife was locked in the attic. Oh yes. I understood Romance. And I liked it.
Back when I was eleven though, my own romance was with books. And that amazing librarian who let me borrow Jane Eyre a year early did another fantastic thing. She told me I could borrow from the Adult library, as long as I first showed her the books I wanted.
And I walked through that forbidden passageway.
In conversation with an acquaintance recently, I remarked that I was getting ready for retirement.
“You’ve been getting ready for retirement for three years,” he said. “You’ll never retire.”
“Oh yeah?” I answered with my usual snappy repartee. “I will so retire. One more year, tops.”
But he was sure I wouldn’t. “You can’t retire. Instead of thinking about doing nothing, you should be thinking instead about what you want to do NEXT.”
Well, I know what I want to do next. I’m already doing it (part-time anyway): WRITE.
But I think this guy may have meant something that pays money.
And I don’t really have much hope for that by writing. I actually wrote something that made the New York Times bestseller list for a week or two – and still didn’t get paid one cent.
But a second career after retirement?
There are lots of careers I considered before I accidentally fell into Accounting.
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a movie star. First it was Shirley Temple. Then there was a long stretch of time where I thought I could be the next Hayley Mills. But even though I could cry at the drop of a hat (and often did – just ask my sisters) I see now that this would not be a good time to start a second career as an actress. There are only two movies per year for an actress over sixty, and Meryl Streep plays both parts. And she has an advantage over me. She can act.
I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a nun. I was feeling that enormous stress of life’s responsibilities that comes with turning nine. So I didn’t want to be the kind of nun that I saw teaching in my school. No, I wanted to be a cloistered nun. Where your only job was to pray. That would be easy. I would just pray. And maybe iron. There’s a lot of material in those big dresses and veils. I liked the convents where the nuns wore white, not black.
And although I still see the appeal of a life of serenity and simplicity, none of the nuns (cool nun pun) wears those flow-y veils anymore. And I also see now that along with all that praying, there is also a vow of obedience. Well, the first time someone told me what to do (gave me an order in the order, so to speak), well, that would be the end of my vow of silence.
After high school, I attended nurses’ training for one semester. My mother is a nurse, but I did not go to nursing school at her suggestion. No. Her suggestion was that I would hate it. “It’s mostly drudgery,” she said. But I knew that underneath, she really liked Nursing. And underneath all my teenage angst, I really wanted to be like her. So I went. And just like I figured I’d pick a convent by the prettiness of the veils, I picked a nursing school with a very pretty uniform. And cap. And just like the nuns, no one even wears a cap anymore. So it was a good thing it didn’t last.
My mother was right. It was drudgery. But not the actual working in the hospital so much as the classroom part. I was so bored. When I decided to quit, my advisor agreed that it didn’t seem like the right coursework for me. “I don’t really understand why you didn’t opt for college and medical school instead,” she remarked.
And she was right. I think I would have made a fine doctor. I excel at noticing everything that’s wrong with everyone. What a great diagnostician I would have been. And I can just see myself striding down those hospital corridors with a name-tag and a stethoscope and a clipboard. I’d look great. Not in scrubs. There is nothing attractive about the cut of those drawstring pants. And a short sleeve top with a boxy cut makes your arms look heavy and your stomach big. But a nice white lab coat would be great. With a pencil skirt and stilettos.
But as cute as that outfit might be, I don’t want all those years of medical school at my age. I need something that I can get right to doing a little quicker than that.
There’s Hairdressing. I can still wear a white coat if I want to. And I have a great sense of style. I can pick hairdos for people. I don’t want to stand on my feet all day though. I won’t spend the rest of my life – or one day for that matter – in Crocs.
I went to college after the nurses’ training fiasco. And when I finally graduated – I changed my major upteen times and finally ended up with a teaching certificate, but I knew during my student teaching that I didn’t want a life of hollering at kids to sit down – I had a hard time finding a job. But I finally landed a position that entailed typing names and addresses on purchase orders. I actually liked that job. But I saw a guy every day who not only liked his job – he LOVED his job. It was the mailman. He told me he was the luckiest guy in the world. Because he got paid to walk around. So that’s something to consider. What a great second career! Walking around! However, I would stick to June only. And maybe the beginning of September. Is there a walking-around job with that schedule?
But realizing that my happiness is weather-dependent has inspired me, and after a lot of consideration (as you can clearly see – this post is more than a thousand words, for god’s sake), I have come up with the perfect job for me.
I cannot think of one other job in the world – not air-traffic controller, not auto mechanic, not bank teller, not even grocery-bagger – where you can consistently be WRONG – and you still get to keep your job.
And I can do it. I know I can.
I can stand in front of a map and be wrong.
I have a few opinions.
Some who know me might be saying “No kidding” under their breaths.
That’s okay. I’m not hurt. They do know me. And they appreciate all my helpful advice. I’m quite sure.
So here’s some of my indubitable (I love that word – my maiden name is Dube) opinions on style and beauty:
1. Hair color.
Changing your color is wonderful. Mother Nature doesn’t always know best. However. One should keep one’s haircolor within the range of hues that are at least remotely possible for human beings. Not that purple bangs can’t be cute. It’s just that no matter how plain you may think you face is, you really want people to look at it when they are speaking to you. Not your cotton candy do.
(Or your boobs, for that matter. Try to limit your boobage overflow in public.)
The older I get, the more I recognize that eyebrows are an important part of that same face you want people to talk to. I realize that I am slightly obsessed with eyebrows, especially since mine seem to be disappearing – or perhaps migrating to other spots on my body, one hair at a time.
Eyebrows truly frame your face. They enhance your expression. Just look at this guy – his eyebrows convey such earnestness and melancholy.
Because eyebrows have the power to communicate so much, however, you need to be really careful about the message you are giving. Too close together can look kind of mean. Too far apart might make you look childish. Too much arch and you’re permanently surprised. And eyebrows can even make people trust you - or not.
How do you know how short you can go? And at what age? I think the big mistake made by style advisors is to talk about skirt length in the context of how many inches above the knee. They are measuring from the wrong direction. It doesn’t really matter how many inches above the knee… it matters how many inches below the crotch.
So I have worked out a little formula that calculates the exact skirt length for you:
Age x Height (inches) /500
Take me, for example: I’m 63 and 5’5″ (65 inches). Multiply the two numbers and you get 4,095. Divide by 500 (I don’t know why 500 works, but it does) and you get 8.19. That’s the length the inches - at the shortest – my skirt should be below my crotch.
Let’s take a younger, shorter person. Say she’s thirty and 5’2″. 30 times 62 divided by 500 = 3.72. A much shorter skirt than mine, but she’s half my age with shorter thighs anyway.
Try it for yourself. And then measure your most flattering short skirt. Aha! They really should give inseam measurements on skirts, just like pants. It would be so much easier.
One caveat: If you have a really droopy ass, you should probably add an inch or two, or measure from the droopiest part, as it may hang down significantly lower than your crotch.
Ditto for extra poufy asses.
4. Bathing Suits.
I have no formula for bathing suits. And I have no rules.
Wear whatever you want. Whatever feels good for you. A bikini if you want. A moomoo if you want.
I saw a meme recently that offered this advice:
How to get a bikini body:
Put a bikini on your body.
It’s the BEACH.
You are there to have fun. So have fun.
There are no rules.
Except for men.
I have a few opinions.
I often say to my husband, “I don’t know why you would ever argue with me, when you know that I am always right.”
With everyone I am not married to, however, I am actually quite tolerant. I know that I’m right, but I realize that other people mistakenly think they are right too. I am a very nice person, so I let them think so. (And I know I would never convince them anyway – I haven’t even convinced my husband.)
But the other day I heard something on the radio that reminded me of just how right I am.
It was an ad for the local airport.
It is my opinion that it is a complete waste of money for airports to advertise. Hearing an ad for an airport does not make me want to go there. I go there when I need to fly someplace. And then I go to the nearest airport that gets me there. In Connecticut we only have on airport. Guess where I fly from? And hearing that ad a few days ago didn’t make me say, “I have to find someplace to go, so that I go to that awesome airport.”
Ditto for hospitals. I will admit that a hospital may want the public to know about what services it offers. But lately, one of our local hospitals has been advertising an app that you can download which keeps track of the waiting time in the ER. If you need to go to the ER, in my opinion, you should just GO. Checking the wait time may be more appropriate for Space Mountain.
Speaking of being in pain, it is also my opinion that tearjerker movies are very therapeutic. Having a good cry about something that doesn’t hurt you personally is a great stress-reliever. I learned this forty-five years ago when I saw “Midnight Cowboy” for the second time. I had seen it with friends, and then gone again with my sister a few weeks later. Knowing how it ended, I started crying about half-way into the movie. Every time Ratzo said “Florida” I cried a little more. By three-quarters of the way through, I was bawling. Loudly. And after the movie was over, I felt wonderful. Euphoric even.
Several times a year, you should pick a movie that really gets the waterworks flowing: “Terms of Endearment,” or “Kramer Vs Kramer” – even “Old Yeller” if that does it for you. Have a fabulous cry. Sob even.
Which leads me to tissue. In this case, bathroom tissue. Toilet Paper. It always should be positioned to roll from the top over the front. Not down the back. Not ever.
You may disagree with me. You’d be wrong. But I’m way too nice to say so.
(Next time: Style Opinions)
Ever since I started blogging, I have posted a new photo on my birthday.
In defiance, I suppose.
This year is no exception.
My husband and I went shopping at this enormous (220 stores) premium outlet. I did have to make a tiny concession to my age, in that we visited ten stores out of the 220. And then I could barely walk back to the car.
My husband had secretly already bought me a present. I had seen a beautiful vintage bracelet of garnets and gold at Christmas time, and so he had gone back to the store the next day and bought it for me. And saved it for my birthday, since he had already spent a fortune. But the outlet shopping excursion was two days before my birthday, and so he didn’t want to tell me yet that he bought the bracelet. Which worked out pretty dandy for me, since he bought me a couple of additional presents.
One was a Coach bag. It’s a gorgeous red leather tote. It’s completely appropriate for my age, but I love it anyway.
And then he wanted to buy me skinny jeans, because he likes my ass. So how could I refuse?
So we went to Armani. I picked a nice warm brown with zippers at the ankles, but they didn’t quite fit. (My husband would argue with that.) So we had no choice but to get the python print.
Yes. Snakeskin Skinnies.
But sixty-three isn’t old anymore. Even seventy-three isn’t old.
The Beatles reminded me of that on Sunday. I mean, look at Ringo.
You can’t get much cooler than this. I actually think he is better looking than when he was kid.
And so am I.
Take THAT, sixty-three!
This is it! The best day ever in my whole life (so far).
Exactly fifty years ago:
February 9, 1964.
There has been a fair amount of hoopla this year, given the 50th anniversary, so you may recognize this date.
The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
All my friends at school were so excited. For the last month, we had been crazed with Beatles Fever. We had set up a record player in the gym at the Bristol Girls’ Club and played the two singles (four songs) over and over. “She Loves You” with the forgettable “I’ll Get You” on the B side, and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” with the unforgettable (to me) “I Saw Her Standing There” on the B side. By over and over, I mean OVER and OVER. No one said, “Enough!” We couldn’t get enough.
Every girl had a favorite Beatle. And it was easy to know which Beatle any little girl would choose. The cute and popular girls liked Paul. The day-dreamers were drawn to John. The shy, bookish girls loved George. The girls who were most likely to adopt a stray dog: Ringo.
Being the dreamer that I was, I liked John Lennon. Some of my classmates were outraged by that idea. “But he’s married!” they cried. I didn’t really see what difference that would make, since I hardly thought he was going to ask me on a date. But although I may have been a dreamer, I was not a boat-rocker. I switched (at least in public) to George.
And after weeks of anticipation, Ed Sullivan announced that The Beatles would be on his show. On February 9, 1964.
That was not just a day. That was my birthday.
And it was not just my birthday. It was my thirteenth birthday.
I was FINALLY going to be a teenager. In possession of two already-teenager sisters, I had been desperate to be a teenager for the last two years. And with a February birthday, I was always one of the oldest kids in my class. I was the first one of my friends to become a teenager. I had huge bragging rights.
It was my day. I was a teenager. I was an adult. Makeup – here I come!
All my friends were thrilled at the prospect of seeing The Beatles. I was going to see them ON MY BIRTHDAY.
No one else I knew could say that. No one else was becoming a teenager to the tune of “I Saw Her Standing There.” Of course, I didn’t look like a teenager. I looked nine.
But I didn’t care.
The day was perfect. I wore the brown dress my mother bought for me at Lord & Taylor. For church in freezing February, I didn’t wear my one pair of stockings. (Oh, there was no pantyhose in those days. I had a tiny little girdle with garters that the stockings fastened to.) I could not risk having those horrible splintering pews ruin my only pair of stockings. So I wore my bagging beige tights. There was no lycra in those days. Skinny girls like me had droopy knees and ankles every day.But I didn’t care.
It didn’t snow. I had learned early on that having a birthday in February meant that you had a good chance of your birthday party being cancelled. I became philosophic about it by age 8. (I still am by the way; we had a blizzard last year). Back then, I was lucky though – I lived in a two family house with my aunt and uncle and their kids on the first floor. That guaranteed me a minimum level of celebration.
But it didn’t snow, and my other aunts and uncles and great-aunts, and grandparents showed up. They actually came early and I forgot to change to my stockings. I wore my stupid baggy tights to my birthday party. But I didn’t care.
My hair came out okay. Okay for me. I hated sleeping with rollers, and I usually ended up pulling out a couple in the middle of the night. So in the morning I usually had only one curly side. And that day was no different, except instead of a curly side, it was more of a lumpy side. But I didn’t care.
I think I got a nice gift. I think it was the Brownie Fiesta camera I had been lusting after. But I honestly don’t remember. I didn’t care.
My party was still in process at 8:00 PM. We stopped. We adjusted the tin-foil on the rabbit-ear antenna.
My sisters and I stood before the old Sylvania black-and-white television, and swooned at the fuzzy images. (Actually, my oldest sister didn’t swoon – she was way too sophisticated. But she watched carefully.) My fifteen-year-old sister and I swooned.
Oh my God, they were amazing. The Beatles were so cute in their adorable suits and adorable haircuts. And they sang to the screaming girls in the audience. They sang to me. They shook their shaggy heads and smiled. They were so happy. We were happy.
Just a few months before, we were also motionless in front of the television. In shock and in sadness at the death of the President.
And here were these sweet boys singing to us. Telling us it was okay to be happy again.
On my thirteenth birthday.
The fourth in a series recounting the best days of my life (so far) – leading up to my very best day.
Triple Great Days – The Book
An essay I wrote ten years ago provided me with three of the best days of my life – over a span of seven years.
One day while surfing the net, I came upon a call for entries for short essays for inclusion in an anthology. A few years before, Marlo Thomas has published a book of essays written by a hundred famous people (like Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Ali, and Steven Spielberg), The Right Words At The Right Time. Each short essay told the story about the difference that can be made in one’s life by hearing just the right words at the right time.
The book was a best-seller and all the proceeds went to St. Jude’s Hospital. So a few years later, Marlo Thomas and her editor wanted to publish another edition – this time with non-celebrities.
Well, I am certainly a non-celebrity – probably I’m in the very top echelon of all-time non-celebrities.
And I had a story.
So in 2004, on a plane, I wrote my essay in the tiny notebook I kept in my purse. And when I got home and typed it up, is was twice as long as the maximum length, which was a measly 1,500 words. That’s nothing for a meanderer like me. So I edited, and edited, and edited. Which I know now is a very good thing to do after you write (although I hardly ever do it).
I sent in the story and I didn’t hear anything for a very long time. I forgot about it.
In the meantime, I quit my job and was feeling pretty low.
And then a YEAR later, I got a phone call. It was Bruce Kluger, Marlo Thomas’ editor.
“Remember that story you sent us about a year ago?” he said. “We are finally getting around to that book, and your story is one of our first selections.”
My First Fabulous Day!
It took a year to get the book published. It came out in May, 2006. I went to Barnes and Noble on the day it was released, and THERE IT WAS! On the center table. With my story on page 69.
I bought five copies and at the checkout, I said to the clerk, “Look right here! That’s my story! I wrote that.”
My Second Fabulous Day!
I had written about my sixth grade teacher – who was the very first person who made me believe that it was okay to make a mistake. One of the most important things a teacher has every taught me. I shared this story on my blog in celebration of teachers after the Newtown tragedy. (“Teachers”)
It was amazing to see my story in print. And I figured I had it made. That was the first bit of writing I had done in thirty years, and it was published. Writing is EASY, I thought. Ha, ha on me.
But anyway, I had published a story. Life went on.
And FIVE YEARS later, in 2011, one night I received a phone call.
The caller asked, “Is this Nancy Roman, who wrote a story about a teacher named Sister Regina Marie?”
When I said I was, she said, “I have someone who would like to speak to you.”
And there on the line was Sister Regina Marie!
She said that a few years before, an acquaintance found the book and the story, and showed it to Sister. Her order of nuns had long since gone back to given names, and she was now called Sister Anita LeBlanc. But she knew the story was about her. And Sister said she’d been bragging about it ever since – telling everyone she met that a story had been written about her. And the day she called me, she was bragging to a new resident in her retirement community, and her new friend suggested they find me. And so they did.
She was ninety-two, and had taught school until well into her eighties. She had been a teacher for sixty years.
Imagine all the children who experienced the kindness she showed me.
My THIRD fabulous day. And the best of the bunch. I got to say Thank You.