Sunday, November 4, 2007

A question, a photo and an offer

I doubt we're going to pick out any faces in this picture, but some of the ones that are coming are better.

Here's the question:

Are there any of you out there who would like to post to this site? Not just comments, but doing some of the heavy lifting -- i.e., the writing -- about things that interest you.

I want Dale to write from time to time. She is the one who has done more than anyone else to keep the Class of '67 together as an entity over the years. I'm just a Johnny-come-lately who took the initiative to start a site for all of us. I love to write. I get paid to write. But I should not be the only one writing here.

I have already invited Dale to write. If there are others of you who would like to be invited to contribute when you want to, just let me know.


Dena said...

Greetings, I'm wondering if others out there might have had a similar m.o. at some point early in life. In my memory, throughout high school I was timid & quiet. Reaching out to connect with others was not a regular nor an easy part of my repertoire, so it rarely happened.

Perhaps my greatest comfort related to school during the four years at Woodson was discovering modern dance in my junior year. In retrospect, I notice that dance & self-choreography were nonverbal expressions - duh. And, I was happy to be in the dance chorus for Molly Brown.

When I dated or went steady, this was often with boys outside of WTW. My boyfriend late '66 to mid-'68 was a year behind us. My family lived out in the country, in Burke. It was a terrific place for my sister and me to grow up, yet we weren't in a housing development where there were other kids to hang out with.

I loved attending football & basketball games, sock hops, & most of the semi- & formal dances. My social life included high school events, yet I felt adrift in terms of connecting with most peers in the Class of '67. It's not that I didn't like you -- I didn't know how to let you know me. I felt fairly invisible & didn't know skills for changing that dynamic.

(Speaking of invisible, I had a flashback of it this weekend. I entered a comment on 11/3 & don't know if anyone saw it.)

Fast-forward. Now, I'm a psychotherapist, cancer guide, writer, dance/movement therapist, & meditation teacher. Specialty areas include grief, support of couples when one partner has a life limiting illness, work with military Veterans, & mentoring women in self-discovery.

I'm writing a memoir of some experiences during my husband's illness (lung cancer), dying time, after-death vigil, & approximately first 18 months of widowhood. Ron died March, 2002, & Guidance to write the book came this summer.

To pay the bills while finishing this book & co-authoring another with a friend, more of my individual sessions, groups, & classes are done by telephone. I love doing this, & the deep connections that take place among people via tele-conference venue still surprise me. This fall, I expanded my work with widows to include tele-circles called STORY SHARING BY HEART.

O.K., this may be more than I said in class throughout 1963-67.

With gratitude,
Dena Ward Clayton

Dale Morgan said...

Dena - you're not invisible!! I replied to your comment on Nov. 3 before I saw this one. Still waiting for that story...

My sincere condolences on losing your husband. I remember meeting him at the 30th reunion in Reston. You both looked made for each other. I think the book that you are writing will be therapeutical both to you and others. Stay focused. I hope you keep us all apprised.

Anonymous said...

dena, i lived on burke lake road; right across from the lake. i would ride my horse on the lake bed before it all filled up !
burke was so tiny then, just a 4 way stop. my oldest daughter still lives in virginia in lorton & reminds me how much it has changed. rt 123 is 4 lane ?!
i am sorry to hear about your loss. i wonder if divorce is like a death, also. my ex and i knew each other for 23 years and now, we act like strangers.
life keeps getting shorter and the only real meaning is found in our relationships and how we feel.
i feel like i am 17 again; and can relate to the son i am now raising !
i was a stay at home mom since, my hubby traveled alot and we did the country life with a few critters along with the kids.
now, i must find a way to make some money and get my health top notch.
i can do this !
it is like having second wind !
from astrology, i know that most of us are going to face our second saturn return. a good thing, since, it means that everything you did the first saturn return [age 28-30], will somewhat repeat itself in these upcoming 2 years.
so.....way back then, i divorced my first hubby and found myself in RN nursing school.
i am glad that our class is so talented !!!!!!!!!!!!

nan pecsok

kelly pace lived out our way, too ?!

Dena said...

Thank you for your heartfelt words, Dale & Nan. Bereavement support was a focus of my professional & volunteer work many years before Ron's death. Learning through personal experience continues to evolve, in layers.

Dale, I will get around to that Miss Watkins story - soon. Very busy day today.

Nan, my own experiences of divorce & losing a husband through death were more different than similar. Both are likely huge losses to every person who has ever lived through them.

Good old Burke! My family moved there in 1954 and my parents sold their home when they retired in '88. I have not been back -- I'd rather hold my memories of our old house & forest than to see the expensive community that was built on those acres.

In 6th grade, at Burke Elementary, I was one of 5 girls who were best friends. The 2 who did not move away before high school were Gloria LaGarde & Joanna Michie. We each had flower nicknames, given by the group. Mine was DenaGardenia. Cumbersome.

~ Dena Ward Clayton

Anonymous said...

hi, dena.
burke elementary was at the end? of burke lake road ??
i went to the elementary school near fairfax station. one teacher taught both 5th & 6th in the same class room !
my parents also sold/relocated just after we graduated in '68.
yes, divorce is different than a permanent death; a lesser form of soul loss ?!
dancing is soooooo healing.
luv, nan.