Happy New Year, my friends!
Welcome to the fourth installment of my favorite posts to write this year! My list of Top 10 2019!
This year at Texas Over Fifty has been action-packed and filled with adventure. I’ve loved experiencing the many firsts and fun!
But … what you’ll find in my list of Top 10 2019 is not so much what I saw as what I saw in someone. These were the true memory-makers of the past 365 days, and I’m so looking forward to sharing all of them with you.
Number 10 on the list was a story of what I saw in myself when starting over at Job #14 (or 15). While that experience was pretty monumental, Number 9 gave me even more to think about. Number 8 is the story of relaxing at a birthday sleepover with my granddaughter and remembering many sleeping-bag occasions of my own.
As I share #7 on my list of Top 10 2019, I hope you’ll be able to relate. Is there someone in your life whom you didn’t expect to do the great things they have actually done?
Here’s #7 in my list of Top 10 2019.
Marveled at an Old Boyfriend
When you get to know someone years later than you knew them before, you might be surprised at who they have become.
In fact, there can sometimes be pretty good cause to marvel.
Define Marvel, Please
At the risk of giving the wrong impression, I better give a pretty good definition of what I’m talking about here.
This is not a case of looking back and wishing for what didn’t occur. It’s also not the story of a goober who wound up getting better than he deserved.
According to Merriam-Webster’s defintion, to marvel is to feel astonishment or perplexity at or about something.
So, what I hope you’ll be able to see through the words of this story, the telling of #7 on my List of Top 10 2019, is the strong character I saw in someone that I never suspected would ever rise to the surface.
Hence, what caused me to marvel. Feel astonished. Perplexed.
We Dated Back in the Day
Back in the day, when I was going to school at a small university in the panhandle, my roommates and I were the hottest commodity on campus.
LOL – not really. Just checking to see if you’re still with me.
We did have lots of fun dating all the available guys, though, going through the roster and passing on the ones who might be a better fit for Suzy Q in Economics class.
But the athletes seemed to have a one-up on most of the guys, and there was a tall, curly-headed guy named Jerry Schaeffer who took full advantage of his celebrity status as a basketball star.
I’m not sure exactly where I fell in the line-up my Sophomore year, but I somehow got called onto the court for a few quarters of The Dating Game.
Not a Love Connection
Our dating relationship was short-lived, but I don’t remember losing any sleep over it. I would be surprised if he did, either. We were young, there were lots of fish in the sea, and truly, we were all having the best college experience ever.
I made my best friends at the Baptist student union, and we’re still good friends today. But I completely lost track of handsome Jerry Schaeffer, until many years later.
When Mike and I were in Austin, we somehow connected with Jerry and his wife, Buffie, for dinner, and then had lunch with them after we got situated in Dallas last November.
What I Saw When We Saw Them
“What have you been doing all these years?” I asked.
And then several hours later, I felt as though I still didn’t know.
I finally realized why getting the details out of them was so hard to do.
These two had done some things the hard way (who hasn’t?), but they had also had some great successes. Forgiveness kept them from rehashing, and humility held them back from bragging.
What was obvious and easy to see was that these two lovebirds had come through a lot of life, and now, they were bonded by a passion to achieve some new things together.
Friendship and Fundraising
One of Jerry’s best friends at WTAMU was another basketball star named Maurice Cheeks. After graduation, Maurice went on to play as a professional and now uses his skills as an assistant coach for Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jerry and Buffie are working hard to raise money and leave a legacy. They want to gather enough funds to build a life-sized bronze statue to honor WTAMU’s most accomplished basketball player. In addition, monies are being raised to fund The Maurice Cheeks Degree Completion Scholarship Fund, which helps young men finish their degrees at the school where Maurice exhibited such a deliberate and enthusiastic work ethic among his peers.
(Lots of money has been raised, thanks to Jerry and Buffie, but a little more is still needed, so if you want to donate, click here.)
Didn’t See That Coming
I wish I could say I had known all along that my old flame would turn out like he had. But I hadn’t seen it back then. Here he was, a dedicated philanthropist with an engaging philosophical streak. In reality, back in the day, I didn’t anticipate his giving much consideration to anything quite that … well, meaningful?
After we left the restaurant on both occasions, I thought about the person my friend had become.
He’s working his plan, diligently pursuing the honor of a dear friend. He loves his wife with every devoted breath he takes, and he encourages everyone to whom he speaks.
Including regular ol’, shortsighted, puttin’ people in a box, me.
Wouldn’t you say that’s enough to make a girl marvel at an old boyfriend?
Encouraging an everyday life of intentional adventure, and giving honor where it’s due,
Here are a few other posts you might enjoy:
#10 – Top 10 2018 – I Made the Statesman
#10 – Top 10 2019 – Started Over Like a Champ
#4 – Top 10 2018 – Study Buddies Got ‘Er Done