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Showing posts from October, 2012

Now for the sad part...

I clicked open the email with “Hello from the past!” in the subject line to find a note from from a former student, Josh. How I love hearing from former students. I remember Josh well: a little imp of a guy with a perpetual grin and a frizz of curls and an insatiable curiosity. He played the saxophone…or was that his brother Matt? I think both. I’ll let the email exchange speak for itself … 
Hello Mrs. Douillette -

Would you be, by chance, the same Mrs. Douillette who once taught at Cedar School (at least, I think it was Cedar School?) in Hanover 30 years-or-so ago? If so, I believe I was one of your fortunate students. I seem to remember spending countless hours--and reams of magical tracing paper--gleefully working on projects about dinosaurs and whales while under your tutelage. Happy days indeed.

Anyway, if this is really you, hello! I'm sure I can conjure some more memories of those heady days that will make us both feel much older!

Josh

Hi Josh!
You've reached the right per…

Mothers and butterflies...

When I visited my 92-year-old mother at her assisted living home, I thought of butterflies—the painted ladies I’d seen sipping the last sweet nectar from the buddleia in my back yard.
Painted ladies don’t live long, and my 92-year-old mother certainly has. So that’s not the comparison. And she certainly wasn’t sipping anything when I walked into her room; she was sleeping in front of a blaring TV. And neither was she painted. She’s never been much for make-up.
But nonetheless, painted lady butterflies that popped into my mind as I watched her sleeping.
“Mom?” I said softly.
She startled and I could see in an instant that she didn’t have a clue who I was.
So I told her. “It’s Ruthie,” I said.
That’s always been enough for her face to blossom into a smile of recognition.
“Ruthie!” she always exclaims with pleasure.
But this time her smile wasn’t convincing--she didn’t exclaim--and I could tell she didn’t know who I was. 
But she went with me anyway on a drive to the clinic to get…