Spending a grand day with my old friends

Published 11:48 am Friday, October 7, 2016

Monday, I spent visiting all day with old friends.

When I say old friends, I mean it literally.

With the exception of my daughter Shanda Cecil, who had lunch with us, the rest of the people I spent the day with ranged all the way from 68 to one month away from being 100 years old.

A native of Clark County had come in for her 60th class reunion this year. Patsy Pace Darnell was my sister-in-law for 20 years, and I had grown up admiring her at Kiddville Baptist Church for many years.

She and her momma would work side by side teaching Bible school together, and I heard over and over from my own mother how sweet their relationship always seemed. She was also my counselor at Boones Creek Baptist Camp many years ago. I have to say her sweetness is still the same after all these years.

Since her birthday is Oct. 15, I decided to have a luncheon and do a mini birthday party for her. With my friend Margaret, we pulled it off.

Margaret’s mother, Beulah Clay Ware, and Patsy’s mother, Lucile, had been best friends.

I listened as she and Margaret spoke of the home permanents that were given, the sewing projects done together, the pinning up of Beulah’s clothes by Lucile for her to hem later once Beulah went home, the singing of specials at church and oh so many memories.

The conversation of the flood at the Manley home and the church coming together really brought on the memories. The whole church and community came out to help them get their life back together with Patsy’s dad going daily to help out.

The feeling of community during those days were something never forgotten by any of us. It was a beautiful thing and we all felt blessed to have been raised there.

I heard as Patsy told of how a child knew if any of the adults other than her parents spoke and told them something to do or get after them for anything, we knew we were to do it or our parents would have disciplined us. The respect we all had for one another seems to be missing in today’s world.

I am sure Shanda had to enjoy hearing how it all used to be, as I used to love hearing the ladies before me.

I was privileged to be able to be a part of some of the luncheons these precious ladies went to and the memory is so sweet to me.

Later on Monday afternoon, I tried to take Patsy to see as many people as I could in her short time here. It was fun to watch as she and Irene Woosley visited and reminisced.

I counted it a blessing listening as Irene remembered Patsy being the one who held her son, Donnie Ray, as they brought him home from the hospital after his birth.

Patsy remembered how proud and grown up she felt to be allowed to do that.

Then we went to Owingsville to visit Beulah Clay Ware at the nursing home there, who will turn 100 years old Nov. 20.

It was with mixed emotions she saw the little lady who had spent many hours in her life both at church and at home, since her own mom had passed 10 years ago.

The memory was bittersweet.

Coming back to Kiddville, we happened to see Barbara Manley Leggett sitting on the front porch of her home, where we stopped to say hello. Barbara had grown up in the same church we had.

Then we drove through Kiddville, and she was amazed at the changes that had taken place since she had been there last.

We came back to Winchester to see Mary Mae Pace, a cousin of Patsy’s, and ended our day at Giovanni’s where Patsy was happy to see Aubry Crump, an old classmate, again.

Patsy left Winchester to go to another Clark County and Winchester many miles away in Nevada. There she taught and also was a counselor for many years.

It was at Eastern Kentucky College (now a university) where she met Marshall Darnell, whom she married and left to make her life with in Las Vegas.

Little did she know, years later her husband would end up being the superintendent of that county and a school would be named for him. After raising two children, Patsy and Marshall spent 50 years of marriage together before he passed away two years ago.

She has remained friends with her high school classmates and enjoyed seeing them once more at the reunion.

Lunch with Phyllis Sweeney, Delena Crosby and Anita Jones had to take her and them back many years on Tuesday.

I am quite sure time stood still as they went back 60 years in their conversations as they remembered their youth.

These are all beautiful ladies inside and outside.

Even through all the joy Patsy had felt at seeing everyone, she quickly brought me to the present time when she told of meeting her old college roommate that she had been so close to.

As they hugged one another goodbye the thought that it could very well be the last time one another would ever see each other again.

Her friends words brought tears to Patsy’s eyes as she related her friend told her, “If we don’t see one another again, I will see you again in heaven!”

When she told us that, it was hard for tears not to appear in my own eyes, then I realized how beautiful that statement was.