What I remember
By Jim McCauley
A few years ago I was asked to write an overview of my life. That may sound easy, but it isn’t. I really struggled to remember a lot of things that I thought would be easy to remember.
I certainly realized I could only write in general terms because my wife usually corrects me when I tell about anything that happened just last month! It’s hard to start with your birth, but here it goes.
I started life so long ago, I actually don’t recall. I was not even aware of why I was here, where I should go, what I should do and since I never looked in a mirror, I had no idea what I even looked like. I gave myself a break, I was very young and assumed that my parents would fill me in at some point in life. I knew I was very small compared to the people who were always looking at me. I had no idea of how I progressed or how I survived; I’m now sure older people helped along the way. Sometimes I can remember those who kept me from harm, fed me, made me smell better, but I just can’t remember what happened day to day.
When I was older, maybe around 5 or 6, I do remember the days playing in our back yard. It was home. Dogs and cats and bugs and birds seemed to live where I lived. I also remember friends spending time in my tiny world back there. I wonder if that world is still there or has time changed everything as I grew and began to roam into new territory.
Then, suddenly, grade school, all eight grades in four rooms. Nuns who seemed to have no hair, only their faces could be seen in that big white half mask along the top of their foreheads. Human penguins I thought, but they didn’t wobble when they walked. How long did that relationship last, a few years I guess? Then we were bigger kids, had a bigger school, sports, girls and my memory once again fades, probably for the best.
Then college, a lot of parties a lot of girls and no family to watch over me or help me make decisions. I was on my own, with no compass. Where am suppose to go and what am I suppose to do? Maybe someone will tell me and then it happened. I had a purpose, my mind became clearer and I was setting goals. It was a simple happening: There she was, my heart leaped out and I knew I would never be happy without her. I would never live at home again. I do remember my wife and I both teaching at my old high school for a short period and being recruited by the Air Force after college and three years of ROTC. I remember being trained for SAC Intelligence and playing basketball for the Air force in Europe. My biggest memory is having my wife Marge and first son, Jeff, living together in Seville, Spain. Then I was a State Farm agent, then in senior management at the U.S. Jaycee National headquarters in Tulsa, then senior management at the Holiday Inn World Headquarters in Memphis and Atlanta for 28 years and finally retirement in Oxford in 2000.
In those middle years, I also remember children, parents, family, homes, towns, great happiness, worry and joy. So what’s next? Is there a grand finale, who knows? Are there important memories that will never fade? Yes; God, my wife, my children, my mother, love, family, friends, health and happiness.
Yes, I am blessed.
Jim McCauley is an Oxford retiree. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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