I am on Facebook but I’m not a good user. Sometimes I’m away for weeks at a time and then I’m on it “checking in” a couple days in a row straight, neglecting my self-employed duties.
A few months ago, I emailed my sister that I was closing my Facebook account and she quickly called me and said “Don’t do it! You will regret it.”
I didn’t fully believe her. I was intrigued by the many stories of people who just quit Facebook altogether. And I have several friends who are not on Facebook including my brother and his wife. And I’m sure there are many many more.
Facebook does seem like it’s intrusive and too time-consuming. Sometimes I feel like it’s a chore and probably based simply on my own laziness. However, I want to share a little story about the good things that can come from Facebook and why I’m no longer considering closing my account.
Last week, I posted a picture of a basket from the Cottage Girls Calendar on my blog. I then posted a link to this post on Tracey Reidy’s Facebook wall because she is one of the cottage girls in Georgia. I was too lazy to link it to all the related parties involved. So I knew Tracey, a completely “un-lazy” type of person, was a good one to notify.
However, in my defense, there’s most likely another reason why I’m laxadasical (“urban” spelling of lackadaisical!) when it comes to Facebook. It can be addicting and take advantage of my time. With my freelance work, I’m already on the computer too much as it is. But once I log on to some of my “social accounts” like Facebook, Pinterest and now YouTube (for all the documentaries I’m hooked on), I get sucked in, for hours.
Nonetheless, while I was on Facebook, linking my post to Tracey’s wall, I happened to see a familiar face. It was the image of a sweet, old friend and schoolmate from St. Patrick’s, the grade school I attended back in New Hampshire, named Rachel. She was always a cutie. And then I see a comment from Miss Wefers, one of my old teachers at that school, who was letting Rachel know that she remembered that kid very well!
Now Miss Wefers was an extraordinary teacher. I know this for a fact because my sister, who was a grade behind me, was the youngest in her class and was more of an artist than a typical math-science-history main-stream type of student. And, I remember spelling, #1, was not her thing. She takes after my Dad in that respect. But Miss Wefers continuously went to bat for my sister and understood where she was coming from and I’m sure, could see her successful future as well. I have to admit that I was a little jealous that my sister always got more stars on her assignments from Miss Wefers than I ever did. Especially since she had numerous more spelling mistakes in her homework and I was an excellent speller! LOL. I digress….
After seeing the comment from Miss Wefers, I proceeded to her Facebook wall and “invited” her as a friend. She quickly accepted. Thereafter, I see her post about one of her dear friends, Mrs. Preston, who used to be a nurse at St. Pat’s when I was a student, and that she had passed away just a few days ago.
I was staring at my screen at these words because I will never forget Mrs. Preston. She saved my life.
Back in the 70’s while I was in grade school, there was a church bazaar (or something similar) at the school and my sister, my brother and myself all forgot to ask our parents for some money to buy little treats or maybe a few gifts for Christmas. And I’m sure the nuns sent us home with “reminder” notes of all kinds, prior to the event, to give our parents, ensuring that we would not forget. But they didn’t know how busy our lives were when we got home! So much to do… lots of cousins to play with, our grandmother to greet us every day and show off her dancing moves, the chores, all the homework we had… the list goes on and on! Bottom line, our parents never got the “notes.”
So back to the church bazaar… my brother so happened to have two pennies in his pocket. He gave one to me and one to my sister. All I could afford with my new penny was a red-hot fireball for one cent.
When the bazaar was over, we made our way back to class, and I still had that fireball in my mouth. And knowing me, I was probably trying to hide it from Sister Bertrand (who I think was my teacher at the time of this event… my memory is not the best) as class resumed. I did not want her to know that I had a big piece of candy in my mouth. So I probably was pushing it back and side to side in my mouth trying to conceal it.
And then, it got lodged in my throat. My cousin Chris along with another student ran for the nurse and Mrs. Preston came running in and quickly gave me the Heimlich maneuver. A couple thrusts and I was still choking and then she bent me over the back of a chair and out came the candy.
I don’t remember much else about that event. But to this day, I cannot eat hard candy! Not even cough drops. It makes me so anxious.
While I was in my twenties, I ran into Mrs. Preston when I was visiting my parents in my hometown. She quickly grabbed my arm and told me she will never forget that day and that her heart fell to her boots. And that when the first couple Heimlich thrusts didn’t work, she thought she was going to lose her first student that day. And then she remembered the other Heimlich tactic of bending the person over a chair back. And that’s what she did.
I will never forget hearing her explain it and how she experienced it. And from that day forward, I knew she really did save my life. It was her tenacity to continue and her quick thinking that eventually removed the candy from my throat and I could breathe again.
So because of Facebook, I am able to appreciate and acknowledge what a hero my school nurse was to me. It’s a “come full circle” kind of feeling. In addition, to further learn that she was well-loved and highly regarded from numerous others as well, I felt so honored. I went on to view her obituary and there, I read the words that “During her tenure, she thrice performed the Heimlich maneuver, saving the lives of two children and a teacher ” in her long career as a nurse. I was one of those ‘children’. What a gift I received way back when.
Miss Wefers quickly responded on Facebook that she remembered that event as well and then another of my old schoolmates commented how she remembered it too, stating she “had a front row seat to the whole event.” It was a little surreal.
I put on my slippers and made my way to Mr. Basketmaker’s workshop to tell him the entire story. All he said was, “You need to post this whole thing on your blog.”
So I did. And thank you, eternally, Mrs. Preston!