As mentioned in a previous post, I recently retired. I was a grade school teacher and I taught in the public school system for over 35 years. Old habits die hard and therefore when Thanksgiving comes around, I am reminded of paper bag turkeys, paper mache cornucopia and little children wearing paper hats that boast a turkey’s head and colorful tail feathers glued in place. Thanksgiving weekend is a wonderful time to reflect on good memories.
I am not going to reminisce here about school at this time. I would however like to tell you about a special friendship that I am very thankful for. This friendship was forged many years ago prior to my becoming a teacher.
As you know I grew up in a very small village and in order to attend university, I had to leave home and live in a city many miles away. This was a very big change for me and that September, I was quite anxious about being alone and not knowing anyone in the “big” city.
The first day of my new university life was scary to me. My parents did accompany me to my residence and were quite supportive of me venturing out on my own. But I quickly found out that was as far as it went. I really had hoped that at least my mom would come with me to help me register at the university’s Registar office. But my mom said no, this was something I needed to do on my own.
“The other kids will not know anyone and will be feeling like you so just smile at them and maybe even say hello.”
With that in mind, I ventured off to the Registrar’s office and lined up with other first year students. As I recall, I looked around and everyone seemed so sure of themselves and I really felt out of place. Many thoughts went through my mind. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? Was this really what I wanted to do? Maybe I should just turn around and get out of there. And I started to.
It was at that moment that I did turn around that I came face to face with a girl who smiled at me. I smiled back and then I said “Hello, my name is Petrosha”. She said hello back and told me her name was Debbie. We started up a conversation in that line up and well, as the saying goes, the rest is history. I stayed in that line up and this girl Debbie became my new friend that day.
After that first meeting, we started to socialize together and we even visited each other’s small towns and met with each other’s families. A few months later, we ended up renting a house together. There were many times when we supported one another. For instance, it was tough to get up for some of our boring English classes that started at 8:00am. But we did. We motivated each other to study and complete our assignments. I recall one night when we stayed up together until 4:30am dictating and typing a History essay that was due that same morning!
After graduating from university Debbie and I worked in different towns but we continued to stay in touch. We shared many life events including standing up for each other at our weddings and watching our children play together whenever we visited one another. When driving through the prairies we always stopped in for a visit and picked up exactly where we had last time we visited.
We just spent an enjoyable weekend together and yes, we picked up our conversations just like it had been yesterday when we last saw each other.
It has now been 44 years since that first meeting in the registration line up. With the Thanksgiving weekend coming up, it just felt right to share this slice of my life story with you. I am truly blessed and thankful for my friendships. Thank you to all of you who are my followers. Happy Thanksgiving!
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