Just before sitting down to write this column, the woman from lma attended the funeral for Mrs. Laura Creek at House and returned with the heart filled to overflowing because of the wonderful friends who had gathered for that occasion.
People who have known me for a few days know that I’m rarely comfortable in a crowd and that I tend to avoid entering conversations with many of the people at such events.
Well, I have rarely felt as comfortable as I did this morning amid people from my past and who have a heritage similar to mine.
Obviously, we spoke the same language as we greeted each other as if we had been together only recently. That language was of friendship and love, the kind spoken only among those who have known each other for more years that we can count and who have known a number of generations in each family.
Seeing a number of my former students from New Mexico State University was a major pleasure and privilege and made me proud to know that I had played a very small part in their lives after they left House for the outer world. Seeing friends from my earliest childhood made me very aware of the pride we have in our heritage and the closeness we still feel even though we rarely see each other.
My love and respect for Pam Creek Welch, one of Laura’s daughters, caused me to attend those services.
She was an outstanding student in some of my classes at NMSU and retained a special place in my heart. I can still see that pretty, young girl seated in a classroom in Guthrie Hall and giving me some rather unseemly looks because I would call her “Miss Crick” just to get on her last nerve.
At first, I’m not sure she even had any idea that I knew the difference because she really didn’t know me from anyone else on campus.
As I would make remarks about House and some of the people from there, she would turn red and be ready to do battle. She finally figured out that I was teasing her and learned as time passed that I teased only those whom I felt comfortable with and had known from their childhood.
We hadn’t seen each other since the early ‘80’s, but we were right back in the past as we held each other in our arms.
I commented on her beautiful white hair dye and caught her one more time as she informed me that was natural—not dye. Just seeing what a beautiful woman she has become and seeing how much she and her sister and brother loved their mother was most moving. To listen to those two young ladies talk so lovingly about their mother made me more aware than ever of the importance families played in our lives at one time. We were so very fortunate to live during that time.
Those of us who have the feeling of home, family, and friends understand What we mean when we talk about our heritage and our love of our communities. We can but pity those who never had the opportunity to have our experiences and wish we could share just a few of our feelings with them. What charmed lives some of us have led.