It’s funny how others remember things about us that we probably wouldn’t recall on our own. This past week I had the opportunity to visit with a young lady (she’s 2 years younger than me - lol!) I haven’t seen since 2003. My oldest two girls were on Spring Break so we decided to make the 8 hour trek to visit one of my sisters and her family who lives in Tennessee not far from the young lady I went to visit.
Her name is Emily. I had the privilege of serving as Emily's Platoon Leader in Operation Iraqi Freedom I back when we both served in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Emily was a linguist in the platoon. Not only did we get to meet her sweet family this week, but I also got to hear a few of Emily’s recollections of me.
She recalled how the Platoon Sergeant and I marched over to the post hospital to have words with a medical provider who was giving her a difficult time. There were a couple of humorous stories, but the one that touched me the most was when she showed me how she remembered that I am a French speaker and that the French language is my jam! (Emily learned to speak French when she was young.) She walked to her bookshelf and pulled down a copy of Le Petit Nicolas. She then proceeded to tell me that I’d given her that copy years ago. She asked if I wanted it back. I told her no. I hadn't missed it all these years and I'd given it to her. That's her memory to keep.
Had someone asked me who I gave a French language book to all those years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. I would have failed that quiz. To know that On some level I added something (and maybe even several 'somethings') positive to her life holds specially meaning to me. It’s one thing for a former Army peer to share how you impacted their life, but it’s even more significant and perhaps more touching when a former subordinate calls you “friend”.
Thank you for your hospitality and spending a portion of your Wednesday night with us Emily! The girls all had a blast and so did I. Brynn begged to go back the day after and the day after that.
Which brings me to my old stomping grounds The Looking Glass Restaurant in Clarksville, TN. On this same trip, my sister Kirsten, her friend Amy, the girls and I all went to The Looking Glass for lunch. Back in 2001, I lived just around the corner from the whimsical and then eclectic cafe and quickly developed a friendship with the owner, Mrs. Eddington. I think she was the first person I'd ever met who wore an asymetric hair cut. I even planned and hosted a unit hail and farewell at the Looking Glass - it was a luau and it was a hit! I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I'll give myself some props now! Looking back, I feel sorry for the next lieutenant in the Battalion who was assigned to organize and plan the next hail and farewell! Not too sure how he/she could have topped it! Lol!
This week I learned that Mrs. Eddington passed not long ago and that I’d practically just missed her. During our visit to The Looking Glass I had the pleasure of sharing my memories of her with her son Conrad who now tends to The Looking Glass. I always remember her drinking her coffee through a straw. The reason she explained was so as not to stain her teeth! Although I never adopted the practice, it has stuck with me to this day. The recollection brought a smile to her son’s face. He then told me that she was actually laid to rest with her iced coffee complete with straw!!
The impact we have on other’s lives and the impact they have on ours may never be known. They may never even be spoken. But when they are, soak them up and be sure to share them freely!
Allison Marschean is a wife and mother of 8 year old twins girls and a 2 year old baby girl who is kicking an autoimmune disorder to the curb with food and fitness, all while living her dimensions!