Death of a classmate
Just read about the death of another classmate. His name was Bill Baldwin. I did not know him very well. I guess during my entire time at Cristobal High we may have interacted twice. So like many classmates, he is more or less a stranger. However, I do feel a deep connection with those I graduated with. Over the years I still think of them, even if I do not have any kind of personal connection. Unless prayer is considered a form of being with. So when I hear of a death, it does have an effect on me. Rites of passage of sorts.
A couple of classmates when they died did have an emotional impact. One was Norma Stanley, whom I knew, and was friendly with in High School. The other was Donna Janzar, with whom I was good friends until she left Panama I think in 1965. We reconnected around 2010 I believe. She made a big impact on my life after we reconnected. She was easy to talk to, and it was like our friendship just took off from 1965 as if it never ended. So her death still affects me, and to this day I feel some anger that she died way too soon.
I never liked school from my very first day at Good Shepherd School in Desoto Mo. In 1955. Yet overall the young men and women at the schools in Panama were a friendly group and from what I remember there was little bullying, even then it was mild. I also learned in spite of myself, so I guess I was listening more than I thought I was. I can read and write, and I know about world history and can do the math, well sort of.
When I am praying, I sometimes experience a life review of sorts wherein my classmates come up, all of them. There are some classmates that I believe I hurt a certain way and feel sorry over that. Also with a couple of teachers that I joined in when we thought we were being funny.
The review, also brings up people I knew in the Navy, the girls I dated, the friends I made, etc. I guess this is a common event for many, but I am often fascinated by how the film will stop at some man or women I just met in passing, yet they are also in some way important. I guess prayer is in reality all-inclusive so I should not be surprised over that.
My brain did not really wake up until I was around 19 in the Navy. It was then that I started to study and I guess have never stopped. I did learn to love reading when I was in the 5th grade and one of my teachers got me into reading about the myths of the American Indians. These stories lit up my imagination into an inferno, so when I started to study, perhaps for the first time in my life, that fire only got bigger and brighter. Also, my mother loved to read and this love of reading was passed on to me.
So now I pray for Bill that he has found peace. I love being Catholic because we have an understanding of the connection we all have in the Body-Of-Christ, that there is no separation even in death, since we are all called to put on the Mind-Of-Christ, and Christ is one with each of us. In death, they are deeper in than we are in this life.
So to my classmates who for the most part I do not know, except for a few, and to all that have been in my life, I am grateful for it all and I show my thanks by praying for all, as I hope they will remember me from some sort of ancient interaction and offer a prayer for me as well-Br.MD