Editor’s note: In two previous columns, Lynn Walker Gendusa shared her experience of moving to LaGrange and then becoming a part of the LaGrange High School class of 1965. Her story concludes here.
Our senior year was the best ever. We were the largest graduating class not only for our school but in the country in 1965.
WE WERE the war babies. Another war was raging in a far off land called Vietnam. We were a group bound by something other than being seniors, but I am not sure exactly what it was.
Times were changing, but within us they were the same and safe. We filled the Georgia Tech stadium to watch our team take home the State Basketball Championship. I watched my friend, Richie, become most valuable player at the North South game. We had a great prom, and we had senior moments every day. It was just pure joy.
We graduated on June 4, 1965, and we scattered to the winds. Some would go to war and not come home. Some would die in accidents and from illnesses. Some of those closest to me I very seldom saw and we lost touch.
Some friends stayed forever, and I can pick up the phone any time. We had class reunions every five years and those of us who attended returned to that safe and secure place we once lived, if only for a night.
In 2011, my 37-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had lost my mother the year before and my brother and my father in the late ’90s.
My three children were my glue and my life. My daughter had my only grandchild, and she was just 6 when her mother became ill. Fear spread through all of us like a giant wave getting ready to sweep us all away. It was devastating.
My first instinct was to pray. My second instinct was to ask for a lot of it. I figured I would inundate God. How could I get a lot of people to pray? I had no shame in asking anyone.
I knew our class had a web site to get information to others. I sent a request for prayer to my class members.
I went to school with these people for three years. My parents left LaGrange along with me in 1973, and there were no longer any ties other than memories to this beautiful town on the Georgia-Alabama line.
Within a short time after Jerry Key posted my plea, messages started coming in from all over the country. People were going to their churches and asking for prayer from their congregations. Phone calls and e mails poured in from these scattered war babies to help fight a war with cancer. I was amazed and thankful.
We would spend a year getting my daughter on her feet. Seven operations, infections, chemo, radiation and tears were a part of our lives. I watched my granddaughter have to accept a new kind of grown-up world that she was unprepared for, but with God’s grace, kept her joy.
My son would be severely injured in 2014, and, again, I turned to my old class for prayer. Again, they answered, and God answered as well by healing both of my children.
I said before that I didn’t know what it was that made this class special, but I do now. What made this town become an important stop in life? It is the group of individual, wonderful people that comprised the whole class.
We walked together through an important growing time of lives. We leaned on each other as we journeyed through and we lean on each other now.
The laughter, the joy, the safe place, the teachers that aided us became memories that we, as a class, share for all our lives.
When I look back to being in the back seat of the Mercury and my eyes settled on the pink ladies in the window I did not know that I was on the road to not only an adventure but a part of God’s path for me and His amazing grace.
Right before my mother died she wanted me to take her to LaGrange. We drove through the memories, around our old home, the stately square, the church, and with tears she said, “ It was one of the best places I ever lived.”
And I simply replied, “Me too, Mom, me too.”
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a graduate of the 1965 class or LaGrange High School who currently resides in Roswell.