Saturday, June 21, 2008

To Google or Not to Google?

I was being nostalgic the other day and my mind landed on my first crush. I was in fourth grade, at a choral concert for the school where my mother taught. Even then I was a people watcher. One boy in particular fascinated me. After the concert he passed us in the hallway and stopped to say hello. Gasp! He spoke to me!

That was the year I started string bass lessons. My teacher…the choral director. Funny how life works, isn’t it? Within two years I was participating in that school’s summer orchestra festival even though I didn’t go there. Yep, my boy, who was by then a junior, played an instrument too.

Even though I was an outsider most everyone knew me because of my mother. Still, not all were welcoming the first day. I’ve always looked older than I was so few realized I wasn’t also in high school. My fascination had always been kind, chatting with me whenever we ran into each other even though I was generally too tongue-tied to say much so he knew I was just a kid. He went out of his way to speak with me which earned me a little more acceptance from the others.

The following year I attended my first overnight music festival, the only one from my school, and the youngest person there. Yes, you guessed it. The same individual came to my rescue there as well. He had been attending for years and was very popular. Being included by him made me instantly part of the group. Nope, I still couldn’t manage to speak at first but he pretended not to notice as he always had.

After he graduated, he still attended various school functions in support of his younger sister. We didn’t cross paths often but when we did he was always his same pleasant self. I didn’t see him again after she finished school but I had heard he pursued his musical talent and went far.

Yesterday, when I thought of him, I decided to google him since I was sure he was famous enough to be found. I was correct. He had gone on to do lots of incredible sounding things all over the world. Unfortunately, I also found his obituary. He died last autumn in a freak home accident, a fall down the steps. Though I hadn’t consciously thought of him in years, it still saddened me. I always liked having him in the back of my mind, thinking he was out there somewhere and maybe someday I’d bump into him again. I always expected he’d be the same towards me, friendly and glad to see me. I’m certain of it.

As I sit here now, remembering his ongoing kindness to the scared kid I was when we met, I wish I hadn’t done that search. I wish I didn’t know he was well and truly gone. How can I miss someone I haven’t seen for 30 years and never knew very well to begin with?

The moral...Google at your own risk.

On a much happier note, I saw my great aunt today for her 92nd birthday. Her body is slowing but her mind is as sharp as ever. What a remarkable woman!


Amarinda Jones said...

That he is remembered, if only for a moment, is the important thing

Sandra Cox said...

I'm sorry about your friend, Barbara. He sounded like a kind wonderful individual. Happy birthday to your aunt! That's just grand.

Ashley Ladd said...

Hugs Barbara. It sounds like he had a good life, so be happy for that.

You never know what you'll find when you try to look someone up.

I just attended my 30th high school reunion and I found the opposite true. A boy I'd had a crush on in high school had cancer back then and was given only 6 months to live.

He's alive and well and 47 or 48 now. In fact, we've begun emailing and exchanging writing and I've talked more to him since the reunion, 30 years later, than I did back in high school when he had a steady girlfriend and I guess I was too shy to talk to him much.

Kelly Kirch said...

Barb, what a tender tribute. When you concluded, I missed him too. How wonderful to be thought of so fondly.

And congrats to your aunt. May she have many more lucid years before her.

Anny Cook said...

Yep, sometimes you find out sad things. Sometimes I'll think of someone and call only to have them tell me they have cancer or someone else has passed away. Unfortunately, life is pretty much like that as time passes.

Perhaps the moral is to Google sooner...

Blessings on your day.