Nick has an amazing memory regarding people that he loves. For example, Shaunda Johnson-Taylor is a special friend of Nick’s. In high school, she and our daughter Karen were friends and Shaunda became another one of our kids. She always knew that she could come to our house and be loved. That was many years ago and although I don’t want to talk about a woman’s age, she and Karen graduated before the turn of the century! Both are married with children of their own.
After graduation, Shaunda returned to her hometown of Dallas and we didn’t see her again until last summer during our road trip across the country. Oh she was not around the house anymore, but she certainly was not forgotten. Every once in a while, Nick would ask me, “what Shaunda do in Dallas?” I would answer him because he couldn’t imagine that we didn’t know what she was doing. Since the creation of Facebook, it is much easier to answer him, but I still make it up when I need to. Sometimes, Shaunda is shopping for dinner, other times she is at church. A few times she was going to the movies, and then I would have to tell him what movie she was seeing, so she doesn’t do that as much anymore! She is definitely on his mind.
I do think that she was a bit surprised when I contacted her and asked if we could see her. Nick couldn’t go to Dallas and not see Shaunda. We arranged to meet for lunch. I wondered if he would recognize her, since 17 years is a long time. After all, we do look a little different after 17 years. I shouldn’t have worried. When she walked into the restaurant, he said, “There she is.” Sure enough it was Shaunda. She sat down beside him and asked, “Do you remember me Nicholas?” He looked right into her eyes and said, “You lead the marching band at football games!” I had forgotten that. She had led the marching band in high school. We were able to capture the tender reunion moment in the picture attached to this post.
As Nick has taught us, proximity is not a requirement of lasting love. We can keep those we care about in our hearts and minds for years. And when we are reunited again, the connection will be as strong as it was the last time we were together.
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