Written by Jackie Garrett Reese
Well, this may not be as interesting or as important a life as many others, but it’s been my life, and I guess it has been a good one. Like many others, I’ve had lots of highs and many lows, but I am a survivor! I will not let the bad knocks take away my spirit or my love for life. With my great friends and family, I march on and want everyone to always have fun and laugh a lot.
My adult life after high school began with a little college and a short unsuccessful marriage, but out of that came a wonderful blessing, my son, Howard. He was the light of my life, and I knew I could go on. A few years later I married Mike Cunningham, the brother of David Cunningham of the class of 1957. We left Midland and our lives ran along smoothly living in College Station, Ft. Worth and Alvarado, Texas and then back to Midland in 1978. During that period, we had two beautiful daughters, Cathy and Nancy. Life was good for many years until 1984 when our lives fell apart. My wonderful son, Howard, was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 22 when he was a senior at Southwest Texas State. I thought my life could not go on. The next few years are a blur as some of our classmates can truly understand, for I know there are several others who have gone though the same kind of pain. Life is not supposed to be like that. The pain is unbelievable. With the help of my husband and two daughters and our many friends andfamily, somehow life did go on. I had to be 11there11 for my daughters to go on, and I thank God every day for their love to carry me through life. After 27 years of marriage to Mike, I again faced sadness. Mike had a brain tumor and died in 1993. Again, I was a survivor who had to face the world, but God knows how to pull me up and keep me going. Three years later I got a phone call from my high school sweetheart and first love, Jerry Reese. That became a sweet story in itself We just picked up where we had left off as teenagers; I was in love all over again, and he is the light of my life! It has already been twelve years since we married on Valentine’s Day which was perfect for two old sweethearts. My father was still alive and was happy for us, but sadly he died two years later. My mother, now 91, lives close by as does my sister.
My daughters have grown up and are married and are great parents to my four sweet grandchildren. My oldest daughter, Cathy, an elementary school teacher, lives here in Midland with husband, Tony, and their two daughters, Caddie (12 in July) and Aimee (5). My other daughter, Nancy, lives in Tennessee and is a music director at her church. She married Gerald, a Tennessee man, and they have two boys, Ryne (7) and Zack (5). I always hope they will move to Texas some day. I love my sons-in-law like sons!
Several of our classmates have helped me through all my sad times as well as happy times, and we’ve become such life long friends. I could not do without Gigi Anderson Linne, Dorothy Pinkerton Blair and many others. Six years ago I found Linda Stanley Theis, and we began a long distance, renewed friendship that included Mary Whealdon Brown and Cynthia McDonald Kitzmiller. We had six years of meeting once a year for shopping, visiting and laughing a lot. Cynthia died last August, but we gals are going to continue our mini-reunions and make a toast to Cynthia. Keeping up with our friends is the most important thing in the world to me.
I did some work out in the real world some and hated it. My love is taking care of my home. My goals were to be a good wife and mother and take care of my family. I love to decorate and have been known to change things often! I also enjoy making things for friends and family.
Jerry and I have a good life; it is simple, and we do as we please! He golfs a lot, and I sew and paint and do crafts. We’ve faced some health issues, but all is well now, and we love the travel we do. Jerry even played golf at St. Andrews in Scotland a couple of years ago!
I don’t have any “big” honors or diplomas, but what I do have is a loving husband, wonderful daughtersand grandchildren and so many friends. This reunion has brought so many of us “girls11 back together, and we’re having fun working on the plans. Please have a wonderful time and keep in touch with all of us.
Great and yet sometimes sad story. However the ending is perfect. Thank for joying the Blog. John McElligott MD MHS 1963