Thursday, May 15, 2014

Surprise Reunion

What a wonderful surprise I had today.  A former boss of mine came by the hospital to see me this afternoon.  I haven't seen her in over 26 years.  

Thelma hired me in 1977, the year my husband and I separated.  I was 27 years old and timid as all get out not to mention a little wacky after my husband left me with two little girls.  

Thelma was the Director of Deaf Education at the school I was attending and because I knew sign language she hired me to be her assistant.  I worked for her for about 4 years before being promoted to another department.   But I loved her to death and learned so much from her.  She was always and I mean always laughing and smiling, never acted like she had a bad day.  She was also the first African American that I developed a personal relationship with.  

One experience I had while working with Thelma was when she took me with her to a deaf conference in Missouri.  We drove to Missouri and stayed the weekend with her friend Gertrude.  The first night there I was sitting on the couch next to Gertrude when she suddenly popped off her wig and started putting something that looked like paste wax on her hair.  Thelma burst out laughing saying my eyes had popped out of my head.  She knew that I had never seen how much effort a black woman has to put into taming her hair.  Oh, and Thelma has also told Gertrude's brother that she was bringing a single friend with her.....she didn't tell him however that I was white.  When he came over that evening he had a dear in the headlights look just as Thelma said, "Guess who's coming to dinner."   Of course....I was clueless.

The next day Gertrude, Thelma and I were late getting to the conference.  As we walked up the walk they both said they were on "colored folks" time.  I asked what time I was on and Thelma said "Borrowed Time".  

Thelma is 80 years old now and she looked just the same as I remember.  Her hair is still black and I've got the white hair.  I have the cane and she's just as spry as ever. was wonderful to get to see her again!



Deb said...

Nothing like a reunion with an old and much loved friend. Thelma sounds like she'd be a hoot to pal around with. I'm glad you two had a chance to get together.

Hugs from Canada

Olga Hebert said...

It is a gift to have long time friends like that.