Friday, January 9, 2009

coming across Debby Wellander after 50 years

This morning I had a doctor's appointment at Methodist Hospital.

As I was going to sit down after having an x-ray done, a woman was called out of the waiting room by name, Deborah Wellander. I recognized the name as a girl who was in classes with me at Ben Franklin elementary school in Glen Ellyn, IL. Yes, it was Debby. She looked just like her.

I debated whether to say something to her. I don't think i ever spoke to her as a child. She was the target of vicious taunting by other students and she didn't like it. I never did it, but then I never objected.

I decided to wait and not just then talk to her, maybe not at all. But thinking it over I decided it was something I should do.

She was in with the doctor and I was called and seated waiting in the hall.

Then she came out, I stood, and introduced myself, mentioning Ben Franklin in Glen Ellyn. The aide with her looked at me worriedly. I reassured her with a smile. Debby was not recognizing me, or else just not acknowledging she knew me. She was uncomfortable with it. I gathered from her utterance that she was still a bit clumsy. But she had weathered time well, and was not apparently handicapped. Methodist Hospital cares mostly for the nursing home community.

After my visit with the doctor I was passing the waiting room and Debby was there looking out. I smiled at her. That was the last I saw of her.

I hope she is well.