Timeless January-March 2022 - Page 5

You ’ re never too old to fall in love

Everyone loves a love story . The announcement of an engagement , declaration of marriage or wedding anniversary often prompts smiles and congratulatory expressions . Many people are charmed by the love stories of celebrities and notable people . Even characters from television shows and movies draw attention .

During the late ’ 70s , “ General Hospital ’ s ” Luke and Laura were the “ it couple ” of soap opera fans everywhere . While their love story started off violently ( a drunken Luke raped Laura ), the fell in love . Originally , soap opera critics panned the storyline , but when its focus became more about love and redemption , the couple ’ s pairing became popular .
About an hour before the airing of Luke and Laura ’ s wedding on Nov . 17 , 1981 , I was sitting in one of my journalism classes at the University of Southern Mississippi . About 30 minutes before the broadcast , I raised my hand and had the following conversation with my favorite professor , the late great Gene Wiggins :
Dr . Wiggins : ( Shaking his head with eyes closed ; he knew I was up to something ). Yes , Ida , what is it ? Me : Are you about done ? Wiggins : ( Not really surprised that I was bold enough to ask that ) Well , I ’ m getting pretty close . Do you have somewhere you need to be ?
Me : Well … Luke and Laura are getting married today , and I don ’ t intend to miss it .
Wiggins : ( Just stands there and appears to actually be stunned by my response ) Young lady , did you just interrupt my lecture about a dang soap opera ????? Me : How did you know it was a soap opera ? Wiggins : ( Tosses his pen on the lectern , lets out a sign then asks mockingly ) Well , is there anyone else who wants to see the wedding ? I wouldn ’ t want to deprive anyone else from witnessing this great event ! C ’ mon , don ’ t be shy , raise your hands !
Hands started to gradually go up in the class of about 50 students . Wiggins , with head in hands , looks up and says , “ Okay ! I ’ m done ! But just know you ’ re making up for this ! I can ’ t believe … Ida , get out of here !”
Several years later , a student who had recently graduated from USM ’ s school of journalism began working for The Star . As she was introduced to the staff , her mouth gaped open when she heard my name . “ Are you THE Ida Brown who interrupted Dr . Wiggins lecture because you want to watch a wedding on a soap opera ???” she asked . I smiled and proudly said , “ Yes , I am .” I did it for love , of course ( smile ). Yes , everyone loves a love story . And in this issue of Timeless Meridian we have four such beautiful tales of couples from the Meridian area who not only found love , but also found it during their “ second season ” of life . Even more interesting — HOW each of them met .
Brenda Alawine and Warren Shewmake struck up a conversation while eating for a popular Meridian eatery to open . They continued conversing by email , then phone and are now engaged .
Both the spouses of Wade and Shirley Allen ’ s passed within a 12-day time span . The surviving spouses knew one another from church and over the following months , through mutual grieving and providing support to one another , began to realize they had a lot in common . In time , they went to lunch together , became a couple and eventually married .
Robert J . and Mary Atterberry-Lewis have known each other since childhood . Atterberry-Lewis dreamed of someday marrying Robert J ., but it would be many years later — after both had lived in separate states and had married and divorced to other people — that they would reunite and start their love story .
A Christian website brought Pam Graham and Harold Hollingsworth together . Their relationship started out as more of a friendship ; someone to enjoy spending time with . But the two were bitten by the love bug .
So snuggle up in your favorite chair with your favorite snack and beverage , and enjoy reading about how love truly is … a splendid thing .
February is American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month , a time to focus on cardiovascular health .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , heart disease is the leading cause of death for men , women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States . One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease . And about 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year — that ’ s 1 in every 4 deaths .
While most heart disease can be prevented ( not smoking , exercising , eating health , maintaining a healthy weight ), cardiovascular is not a death sentence . Through advance treatments in medicine and lifestyle changes , those with cardiovascular disease can live productive lives .
Collinsville resident Pearl Merideth and Philadelphia ’ s Karla Gordon can attest to this .
Merideth unknowingly suffered a heart attack in 2020 . While she did not have the classic symptoms ( pain in the chest , neck or arms ), Merideth did experience nausea and discomfort in her stomach , symptoms common among women .
Meridith underwent heart bypass surgery at Anderson Regional Medical Center a few days after the hospital admitted its first COVID-19 patient , which made her situation even more stressful . Nonetheless , Meredith successfully recovered and she has returned to her favorite activities — gardening , cooking and decorating her home .
Gordon , who was diagnosed with heart disease at age 40 , was diagnosed in 2020 with peripheral artery disease , a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow from the heart to other parts of the body , especially the arms and legs . After undergoing a complex vascular procedure to restore flow in her right leg artery , a year later Gordon underwent a non-surgical , minimally invasive procedure to open clogged coronary arteries . The procedures , plus her quitting smoking and adopting a healthier lifestyle , have alleviated Gordon ’ s pain and allowed her to enjoy a more active life with her grandchildren .
Hope you enjoy this heart-ful edition of Timeless Meridian .
Ida Brown Magazine Editor Timeless Meridian
www . meridianstar . com
• 5