An article in today's paper reminded me that 25 years ago, on January 28, 1986, the Challenger Shuttle exploded and Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space, lost her life.
This happened half my life ago, and I can remember that moment exactly.
I was a working at the New England Telephone building in downtown Boston. I was fresh out of grad school (the first time) and I couldn't find a job in my field, so I was temping to bring in some money. Turns out that my typing skills were more valuable (job-wise) than any of the other skills I gained during college and grad school.
So I was typing, at my temp job, and suddenly the news spread that the shuttle had exploded. Televisions were turned on, and everyone was watching the news on TV. It was true. That lovely teacher with the small children at home had died. It was horrible.
Also around that same time, my mother called to inform me that she had breast cancer and that she was having a mastectomy. The winter of 1986. My mother was 47, just about to turn 48, the same age that I was when I was diagnosed breast cancer. I remember getting permission to call her from work to find out how she was doing after her surgery. Waiting to hear if her lymph nodes were clear (they were). That's about all she ever said about her cancer. The case was closed after that.
1986. Half my life ago. A lot happened that year.