Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dedication to Saundra, High School Girlfriend...Breast Cancer Survivor

A few days ago (May 15th, 2010) I was browsing online checking email (of course) and found a message from I’ve set myself up on but usually don’t check back that much. But on this day for some odd reason, I did and found about 9 new messages. Most were reunion announcements from schools that I didn’t attend (but track as some friends attended them).

And then, one message which froze me in my tracks.

It was from a girl named Saundra Felix, a girl that brought back a flood of (very nice) memories. Funny though, I had just thought of Saundra a few days before then and wondered how she was doing.

Obviously I clicked on the first message, a nice greeting and how are you. I then proceeded to formulate a reply. I also found Saundra’s MySpace page as well. But before sending my reply, I noticed a earlier message from Saundra. So I clicked that.

What I read stunned me, and this time not in a good way.

Lovely Saundra, a girl I remember as one of the cutest high school freshmen I’d ever met had contracted breast cancer and was going thru a breast cancer operation. Oh my God I thought to myself.

Then I noticed that Saundra hadn’t logged into her MySpace page since late 2009. Another “Oh My God”, was Saundra even still alive?

Of course I thought back to my high school days and Saundra.

We first met when I was a senior and she a freshman as a mutual friend, Jane Weimer (wonder how she’s doing) introduced me to Saundra in the Central Cambria High School library. Before I go on though I must say that Saundra actually had caught my eye about 5 months before that meeting (early April 1976) at the nearby Cicero’s Roller Skating Rink. At the time I was attending high school at Bedford High School in Bedford, Ohio and was back in Pennsylvania visiting over the Easter holidays.

OK I admit, I was at Cicero’s with another girl at the time but then I noticed this really cute girl skating around with some friends. So cute, she pretty much stuck in my brain the whole week of my visit to Colver, PA (and Ebensburg) and over the next couple months back home in Bedford Heights, Ohio. Oh if I wasn’t already with a girl, I’d be heading over to her and her group begging for a couples skate.

Fast forward to late August of 1976 and my friend Jane introduces me to this girl…and its that beautiful girl I’d noticed at Cicero’s earlier. Her hair was now shorter and it a feathered 70s hairstyle but it was her. And so I first met Saundra.

We talked for as long as we could before hustling off to our next classes but I was sure hoping I left a good impression with Saundra. My “prayers” were answered at home when Jane called me and told me what Saundra said about me “oh that Brad is soooo cute!!). Needless to say I was smitten. So what if she was still a freshman.

Saundra and I started “going together” just a few days later. Saundra may have found this hard to believe but she is the first girl I ever walked hand in hand with thru the halls of Central Cambria High and walking her to her next class. Even today, I might still “moon” a little about that.

That and meeting her at Cicero’s, skating together all night and even slipping out of Cicero’s a little early so we could slip in goodnight kisses (Mrs. Cicero would throw you out of the rink if you dared kiss your girlfriend inside her rink).

Of course as just about all high school romances go, it didn’t last. It might have had I been more mature in those days but Lordy what a idiot I was in those day.



Now back to the present and after three days of wondering (with some sadness mixed in that a precious memory may no longer be alive on this earth, I got a new note from Saundra.

This one has a happy ending. The operations were successful and she’s now free of cancer. Thank You Lord.

Amazing how time flies and that sweet cute girl who caught my eye and imagination back in 1976 is now in her forties and a breast cancer survivor. But I Thank God that Saundra is still here and that we’re back in touch after 34 years.

So today, a special dedication from my wife (Kyrsten), my girls and I to my good friend and high school flame Saundra with a song special to my heart. OK so the song came out 12 years after I dated Saundra but it is one that still makes me cry whenever I hear it.

To You Saundra

(Link to video “We Said Hello Goodbye” by Phil Collins).

Link to Saundra's page

Link to Saundra's MySpace page

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