Love and friendship


Jimmy Batchelor

Columnist


Have you ever felt deja vu, experienced the feeling that you have been somewhere before or gone through the same actions as you are at that time? There have been sane explanations for this feeling, not sure I really agree. Every once in awhile the past really does come to visit. Unex-plained, it just appears, maybe a lesson not learned from the past?

Some of my writing has dealt with life in the past, but now I am talking about a past that catches up with your present. I believe there is a reason, as I stated, a lesson we didn’t quite learn the first time around. Pay attention to your reactions when this happens and the effects on your life.

Most of my readers know my past includes being an army brat, moving from post to post, friend to friend. Although leaving loved ones behind, family and friends, was sad and difficult at times, I did learn lessons that many are not privileged to. Some lessons brought joy, some heartache, but all a part of life that brought deep meaning into mine.

Ending back at Ft. Bragg after my father’s return from Korea, fourth grade at Bowley Elementary greeted me. The summer before classes began, a young girl knocked on our door, searching for a playmate. That was the beginning of a long, close friendship between Cherie (not real name), her brother (my boyfriend) and both sets of our parents.

Over the next four years, our families were stationed back and forth to other places, always returning to Ft. Bragg. It seemed destined to be and I always expected to see them appear back after having been stationed away.

The day came when my father retired from service at the end of my seventh grade. Our family moved to Chamblee, GA, where that fall, I registered into Chamblee High School. It seemed that our families would be finally separated forever.

Fast forward 19 years. My good friend and neighbor and I returned with our children from a late night at the Stone Mountain laser show. Very tired, but low on gas, I decided it best to stop for some. Upon returning to the car, I told my friend how the woman cashier in the store looked exactly like my army friend’s mother from year’s ago. Had she looked up into my eyes, I would have known immediately.

When I returned home, I phoned the store, asking for the woman by name. The man turned out to be Cherie’s father, the cashier was indeed her mother! We were all excited as the man called out to his wife, “It is little Jimmie Hatch!” Long time since I’ve been called little or by my maiden name! It was not long before I got the phone call from Cherie.

Cherie and I got together with our families several times. That was 40 years ago. One day, they all just disappeared. I discovered later that she had divorced and gone to Italy, her family’s birthplace.

We do complain, with some validity, about the technology of today. We have a love/hate relationship, but that is what connected my friend and I back together once again. This time, only a phone call transpired between us.

Had too many years passed? Have our lives been too separate to relive the connection we once had? Her son became our connection through Facebook. I learned that Cherie had returned to Italy although her family is now deceased. Was there a reason for our brief reunions? An ending maybe? Who knows. Love and friendship, memories I treasured and always will. As I said, there is a reason, sometimes we don’t always see it clearly, but it is there.

Jimmie retired from Henry Co. Senior Services in Stockbridge, where she managed Hidden Valley Senior Center and resided for 38 years. She uses her newfound time writing (for The Times) and enjoying life!