Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lewisville (Indiana) High School - Class of 1942

Lewisville High School Class of 1942 - Lewisville, Henry Co., Indiana
(click on photo to enlarge)

My mother, Janet Runyan, is shown on the far right in the second row from the top. Her best friend, Kate Jackson, is on the same row towards the middle, and another close friend, Charles Preston Doney, is next to Kate, in the center. Mom and Kate stayed in touch all their lives. I met Kate a couple of times when she came to Florida to visit, and again when Mom and I made a trip to Indiana in 1999. I talked again with Kate in April of 2010 to tell her of Mom's recent passing.

Regrets over missed chances...

Some time after Dad died, probably around 2003, or maybe earlier, when my mother was in her late 70s or early 80s, she started telling me of a classmate from high school who had moved to Florida and lived in a town nearby with his wife. The couple took to visiting with Mom fairly often and she told me that this man, Charles, had been a fighter pilot in WWII and that, at 80+ years old, he was still flying small planes as a hobby. Impressive!

About 3 months after Mom died, I found her address book and saw the name of Charles Doney listed within and realized he was the man she had spoken of so often. I called the number and got an answering machine. I stated who I was and that I was calling to speak with Charles about my mother who had passed away at the end of March. About 2 hours later, Mrs. Doney called me back. In a quavery voice, she told me Charles had passed away in early June, just a little over 2 months after my mother. She was still very emotional over her loss and we talked some time about Charles and their visits with my mother. After we hung up the disappointment hit me like new grief over my mother's passing. I was sad for Mrs. Doney, and sorry that I missed a chance to talk with Charles and listen to him reminisce about my mother in her teen years.

I regret so many missed chances over the years. This time, at least, it wasn't because I deliberately put off calling someone. This time was different. With each miss I am reminded to try harder not to make the same mistake again, if I can help it.


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