Posts Tagged ‘friendships’



December 21, 2016

Da da dadadum doobie da dadum…..Catching Up is hard to do. Hearing the old melody and lyrics of the Breaking Up is Hard to Do run through my memory station.

I am trying to catch up a little bit for Napkinwriter. I never like to be away from her for too long.  And it is not that I’ve been uninspired or leading a dull life. It’s been quite the opposite.  I haven’t even written a Christmas letter at this late date of Solstice, December 21, 2016. But, I will look back now at what has been a rather Fast Forward year all year long. I did not even journal as much as usual.


After the Christmas concerts and festivities of 2015, we leaped right into the winter weather of January and February. There were ridiculous storms piled upon us, one after another. From the day before Thanksgiving, snow befell us continually. During this time, we were often enroute to Ann Arbor via the treacherous I-94 for Tom’s skin cancer treatment for ever more involved procedures to rid his body of this demanding disease. An exhausting and dangerous trip, made under forced bad weather conditions. We were brought through safely each time during which there were multiple pile-ups and one that was over 122 car and truck pileup.

I looked for my angel billboard messages — and the encouraged me; usually a brief look at a board with only one word on it, but it was the word I needed at the time …..brave………confident……you got this…….healed.  I wanted to write this down, but I also was not journaling as much as usual this year. I plan to turn over a new leaf in 2017.


It’s been kind of a year where I needed to do this:




but I have a precious loosely formed band of magnificent girlfriends who helped me feel more like we were doing this:




A very dear friend of mine, Marsha Pricco English died suddenly this summer and stunned myself and our Resurrection High School classmates as well.

Marsha - Duane & Scotty

Several others passed too, yet Marsha’s was the deepest sorrow.  A grieving husband, Duane, is having the worst year of his life as December grows to a stop.

The extent toward which Tom has had physical problems this year, and my own body creaking around with new discoveries of limitations and challenges has caused us to take stock and think of maybe changing directions a little in our own lives. Maybe we need to be out of our home, with its growing costs and responsibilities and consider another type of abode. Maybe, as one of our daughters looked into new professional opportunity for her, we might even expand our definition of possibilities for us. Whatever it is, love will lead the way.


labyrinth cardinals


Another pull on my heart was the sudden death of my brother, Dave, who after suffering a long period of time with progressive Early Onset of Alzheimers, collapsed departed Earth to a calling of Higher Being. I love Dave with all my heart and miss being able to be with him.



John and his wife, Joan remain in a nursing home in Diamondale and for various reasons our trips over to see them and join our Class of ’61 monthly luncheons have diminished.  I continue to pray for his needs.

Wonderful blessings as life keeps expressing itself fill my life, as well. I had a wondrous visit in Sarasota Florida, flown down by my friend Martha and we had the best of girl time together, visiting the white sands of the beach and watching the flow of the ocean waves. A balm of joy washed over me, as well as the stay I had in her beautiful home with pool and full suite to myself. How pampering. I definitely was “raised up” when I returned to Michigan.



Friendship — long, long friendships — are rare and dear. Another dear friend from Kentucky days of the 60’s – 70s visited us in September,  Lucretia Thomas.  And Tom helped us take her hither and yon to show her a good time, as her own style of Southern hospitality is  something to behold.


Family remains the most precious and centering vitality. Our daughters provide rich gifts in their chosen professions. Kathleen, in her music education to school children, and music and drama in the Marshall Community Theater, along with gigs  with the jazz band, “Misdirection” she founded and fills venues with.


Dr. Laura Mitchell, after more than twenty years in her chosen field of Optometry, made a really big change and chose a new Optometric practice to join in her birth hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.  They have just arrived there and are settling into the return to the Bluegrass way of life. It holds so many new openings for them at a stage of life where she will be able to balance home and work much better and she is looking forward to that.


And oh, my the Grands!  Devon got married to the one and only love of her life, Tyler; and she is nearing the end of her undergraduate education in Music and Creative Writing at CMU, on full scholarship.



Andrew is finishing up senior year at Marshall High School, making and leading music everywhere anytime, as percussion section leader and Marshall Singers president. He has his sights set on UK, University of Kentucky, and we will watch how that turns out.


And Amy, the darling of my heart. What fun we have together, just as I did with those others when they were toddlers and small children. Amy and I love to do art together. Amy LOVES Star Wars and has brought Tom and me up to speed on the whole saga.  She plays piano beautifully and proudly.  She’s just a tad on the dramatic side.



Tom and I are catching up on ourselves too…..and that  has come to mean preparing for a move of our own — to Lexington Kentucky also where we have found a beautiful apartment, near where Laura lives, filled with amenities which we intend to use to focus on improving the status of our health and giving us freedom from the many responsibilities of home ownership.  Wahoo!  A return to the surroundings of where our married life and mission started over 51 years ago.  We are blessed and happy and have a moving date of January 28, 2017.


So this actually became sort of a Christmas letter; one that will never be sent.  It is too long, but I will keep it on file here in Napkinwriter. And Napkinwriter, somehow will be faithful to shorter posts about life on a regular basis as we enter into the new year.

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The dream of a lifetime – that was my dream early this morning near waking time. The lifetime it recalled was my Resurrection High School days and my close friends at the time. Where do dreams come from? There has been scores of psychoanalysis on that topic. This was a dream I wanted to play out before I woke up. I was wrapped up in being a main player in it.

One of the reasons this dream occurred could be from the monthly RHS (Resurrection High School) luncheons being held at Robinhill’s Restaurant in Lansing. Tom and I attend those frequently and from John Lynch’s and Jim Goulding’s early attempts to get something regular started, the event has mushroomed into great attendance which also includes my brother Dave’s class of 1959 along with us of ’61 and occasional visitors from some other classes.


Class of '61 Lunch Bunch

It seems both fun and a privilege to sit down and converse, tease, laugh and lunch with classmates who have lived their own lifetimes without you after that big, defining event of high school graduation. That’s why we travel from the southwest side of the state to meet up with John Lynch, Jim Goulding and Carol Cooley. Also, Judy Hartsuff Renz, Mike Ives and Mike Ridge.

Pat Engle and Agnes (Spitzley) Cairns and I share converstions. Also Gil Glick, Judy Magee and Cathy Endres when they could come. Richard Wagner and Jo, Richard Cairns and Chuck Miller join us regularly. Who am I forgetting?
Maybe another reason I am thinking about high school and it is showing up in my dreams is because of the black and white photos of the sports teams and cheerleaders of the 1950s and 1960s John has been posting on the Resurrection High School website.


Shamrock Football with Coach Paul CookShamrock Football with Coach Paul Cook

On the other side of all that energy,  John Lynch respectfully reports the obituaries of classmates and their families who have passed on to meet their God:
Prayers requested for the family of Mrs. DePottyondy,
mother of Mary DePottyondy Piacsek R61, and
Tom DePottyondy R63.   Sylvia E. DePottyondy
East Lansing Sylvia E. DePottyondy, 94,
of East Lansing, Michigan, passed away on
February 25, 2014.  Sylvia was born in Hungary
on December 8, 1919


John Lynch and the guysJohn Lynch, second left in back row

Whatever vaporous elements mixed together to produce this dream, it was an alchemy that transported me back in time and to the treasures that lay hidden in our high school life – sometimes referred to as the time we never want to go back to.

But in the words of a favorite song of mine:
“….enjoy this day, see only bright tomorrows,
just remember good of yesterday.”


Here is where we meet

All RHS classmates welcome, 3rd Tues of month, noon.

What is true of my lifetime during high school is that Resurrection School and Church were cornerstones in it.  Life really did revolve around high school — studies and extra-curricular activities.

What is true is that I was blessed, coming in as a newcomer in ninth grade, to make a great group of girlfriends to pal around with, attend school events, and party with throughout those years. What is even greater is some of those friendships remained solid over the years as we all grew into our own separate lives. THAT seemed to be what my dream was about.

High School Friends
Homestyle Parties

Potter Park SkateMeeting the gang at Potter Park for a skate.

So, as with all dreams, some parts of it did not fit smoothly and would need symbolism and maybe an analyst to explain, but I know for certain that the main part of the dream was the reunion of these close friendships.

The setting for the dream was Resurrection Church, itself. Tom and I were returning to the church of my high school and college days – the church in which we were married one month after I had earned my bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University. The reason for coming back to Resurrection seemed to be some sort of grand memorial celebration of the church.

It was very ornately decorated, lots of “royalty” clergy were everywhere about and streams of people were pouring in to attend. I did not know any of them, having been gone for so long, almost fifty years now.

I did not go in right away, but hung back outside on Michigan Avenue. Tom went off to run an errand. With a change of heart, I made my way into the back part of the church and then up the main aisle on the left near the front. It was the same location that year after year, the seniors of the school occupied for daily 11:15 Mass near Mary’s side of the altar.

When I came into the pew, I realized my mother and family were there also, but still I was not aware of anyone else I knew. Then in my dream, Tom came up the side aisle and slipped into the pew beside me, being happy to see my parents there.

Fr Francis MartinRev. Francis Martin, pastor of Church of the Resurrection, Lansing MI

Father Francis Martin, pastor and priest who married us, was officiating the Mass but that was the only thing familiar to me in my dream. The liturgy celebration going on was “quite over the top” and almost circus-like, so again I give credit to not knowing about everything in this dream. It all changed at the sign of peace , nearing communion time.

Now, as I turned to greet those around me, I was standing there in my white wedding dress and veil. As it so happens, everything became exceedingly white in my dream.

Standing beside me was my best, best high school friend, Diane DeRose and she, too, was in her wedding dress. My heart lept to see her. Then just beyond her were Barbara Czubak and Marsha Pricco, both of them, completing my inner circle of precious youth pals. And they, too, were in their wedding dresses. We began expressing sincere signs of peace and the love we held for each other in the teen friendships we enjoyed, only now we were mature women.

scan0006Barbara and Diane

More white appeared and there was Diane Hess and Mary Lee Green. I could see all these faces so clearly, it seemed like more than a dream. I was whisked across time and space and back to a time like none other. And there we all were, in our wedding dresses, celebrating once again in togetherness.

One more friend came view in precise focus.. Turning to look behind me, I saw Sharon Bliven, myfriend and classmate. She lost her life in a tragic accident with her husband when they were driving to attend our high school 25th reunion. She was in my dream with a knowing nod of acceptance and probably more wisdom than those of us still living. She was peaceful and accepting. Much more than I am of a tragic and too early death.

scan0007Mary Lee Green, left front’ Sharon Bliven next to Diane Hess standing right

My dream is almost finished and I am struggling not to wake up because I want to see this dream through. The best part comes right after all of us “girls” march up to take communion in our white, white wedding dresses, not graduation gowns.  There is white everywhere. There is joy all around. There is friendship that is honored and there is gratitude for the blessing of it.

What looked like and can easily be thought of a “clique” in high school carried out through our lives when we could occasionally be together and share the new creations and challenges of living through the decades of the ’60s all the way into the new millennium.

The finale of the dream came when, turning around in the pew after communion, there were the faces of the mothers of my friends just as clear as if I had woken up and seen them. It was like an early Mother’s Day present. We had spent much time in each other’s homes and their mothers were friends of mine too. Diane and Barb lived just a street away from each other on Foster and Francis, so I was over there often from LaSalle Blvd. In this dream, their moms were directly behind me. I saw others too, but these were the main ones.

Then in my dream, I began to search for returning to my own, current life. And that, of course, always means a search for Tom. Somehow, he had faded in the dream. And as in other dreams when he has “gone missing”, the anxiety builds and I come to an awakened state, hopefully not before I have found him in the dream.

For in real life when I found Tom, I found my soulmate and my dream of a lifetime completes itself with him.

Sealed with a kiss

Sealed with a kiss.


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