I admit it I am not good at keeping in touch. I am blessed with people in my life that keep in touch with me, thank goodness.
Mom has been the stable phone number and address over the years so people wanting to get in touch with me could always get in touch with Mom.
I remember one time I was in Arizona and I called home to say Merry Christmas to my family and one of my college friends was there staying a few days with Mom and Dad. She was looking for me and drove to Norwich to see if I was living at home. Suzie had fallen in love with my parents while we were studying in Syracuse. I felt sort of homesick then but was happy Mom and Dad had Suzie to love while I was away. I have since lost touch with her, imagine that, if anyone knows Suzi Amacucci from upstate NY tell her Teri Baker is looking for her.
Not long after that my high school friend Morgan was looking for me. Morgan is the absolute best at keeping in touch she has found me in all my relocations over the years. We met in 1971 at the movies smoking cigarettes in the restroom of the Colonial Theater. We have been friends ever since. One time we went to Greece the only word we knew in Greek was thank you - ef̱charistó̱. It is amazing how thank you and youth will get you almost anywhere you want to go.
These are just 2 instances that happened before the internet made getting reacquainted easy.
Which brings me to a call I got a call Sunday morning.
“Teri, this is your cousin Len.”
That may not sound like much, the last time I spoke to Len, my favorite cousin, was in the 70’s. I was being sort of wild exploring my youth, he was doing the same and our paths went in opposite directions. We have 2 years age difference between us. It only took a moment for those thirty plus years to fade away and for the next few minutes we played the do you remember when we…game. He has an amazing memory and dazzled me with some things I didn’t remember on Sunday but as I have pondered those long ago days I am gaining some clarity on some of those old stories.
Lenny and his family lived with our grandfather when we were little, we called him Pop Pop. He was the most dear loving soul. He had about 10 long hairs that he would comb over the top of his bald head, we talked about his kindness.
We talked about our Great Uncle Lena Russell Blackburn he is in Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, not for playing baseball but for making mud pitchers would rub into their baseballs.
Lenny is named after my beloved father we spoke about him and Len's Mom and Dad, we used to call Uncle Ray Love Bug, and Aunt Marilou Mi Mi they have also taken the next step in this process of life and death.
Mom laughingly remembered one visit arriving in New Jersey from our home in upstate New York, Len was standing on the steps of 501 Garfield Avenue with his hands on his hips he yelled, “Finally, come on Teri lets tear up the house!”
We laughed and laughed it was a lot of fun catching up, I think this time I will make more of an effort to stay in touch. Guess how he got my phone number, thanks Mom.