It was a beautiful and amazingly warm September evening at the University of Vermont, and it seemed like everyone was out in downtown Burlington. Some streets were blocked off in order to control and maximize the fun for students. It was the beginning of my senior year in 1985.
My apartment was only 200 feet from the core of the school’s bars and nightlife, so it was easy for me and my roommates to quickly partake in any scene, which was a nice perk. Some friends and I were enjoying ourselves to the utmost, until I lost them and found myself alone and in the heart of downtown - the corner of Church and Main Street.
I looked up with appreciation and gratitude, and said softly to myself….”Life is Good”. I remember that perfect moment like it was yesterday. I was fully present and very thankful. Tears almost came to my eyes.
I was a scholarship athlete, with a diverse group of friends, doing well as an English Major and had supportive parents. The school sizzled at the highest level my first three years and I soaked up many aspects of a fun university. There were memorable events, people and situations – occasions that still pop into my mind randomly.
It had been a wonderful ride at a popular university, and outside of my time on the basketball court (the opposite of glorious), it was terrific. My UVM expectations were exceeded as I wrote in this 2014 article.
Then the aforementioned moment became even more perfect.
On that same corner, I saw a young woman who almost made me lose my cool. She had a sweetness about her and a lovely smile; her beauty radiated. If I could have frozen that moment before we talked, I would have, as it was powerful. It was clear from our conversation that I would see her again.
She had a confidence and maturity I admired, particularly for a freshmen. While getting to know her, it was clear to me that she would be successful and create the life that she wanted. After reconnecting with her in 2008, it was no surprise to hear how her life had unfolded. She wrote fondly of her kids, husband and journey, words that left no doubt about her happiness.
I’ve been fortunate to have a great life and family as well, with a full load of fantastic moments, although that early memory is one I will never forget.
|The Forgettable UVM Basketball Years - 1984 Team Picture|