After last Saturday night, I am convinced that the four years we spend in High School are pretty much the years that leave the most impact on our lives. We spend those years discovering life’s triumphs and life’s sorrows and during those confusing times of our life, we cling to our friends to get us through it. Our friends, who we walked through the halls with, passed notes with in class, cut with and hung with on a daily basis. As one put it ” back with my partner in crime” Those friends, knew everything about our lives. They knew are darkest secrets, our secret crushes and our biggest dreams. Then graduation comes, we go our separate ways and we reunite for one weekend 10,20,30, or in my case 40 years later.
I was excited about this reunion. I had recently graduated with my GED and really for the first time felt like a worthy “graduate.” As the night got closer and the plans for get together’s emerged, and I found out who was coming, and what the party would look like I was even more excited.
Then the night came and I got an overwhelming case of anxiety as I drove to the party. Will people remember me? Or more concerning, will they remember and remind me of the best, or the worst parts of me? I wasn’t the nicest girl in high school and had always felt a need to make amends to the people I intimidated or made feel as if they did not belong to “our clique”. It would haunt me for a long time in my life as I evolved to the woman I am today. But as I walked in and was greeted with hugs, and warmth, and I heard all the joyous reunion hugs going off like firecrackers across the room I felt an indescribable feeling of home.
These were my peeps. The ones who knew my back story. I wasn’t prepared for the screams of joy that came out of me as I peered into the photo button and realized who was in front of me, and I was equally excited that I wasn’t the only one who had to do this to recognize each other. Get out the glasses. I also wasn’t prepared for the sorrows and the losses that people shared and survived. I was in awe of the stories of some overcoming illnesses and the gratitude I felt in each as they stood before me and said ” I made it” . I even met a long lost cousin. There were smiles, and tears, and so much laughter!
Here we are 40 years later and as I listened, really listened to the most profound success stories of some pretty amazing career choices: Artists, Nurses, Teachers,Doctors,Hollywood producers,Accountants and so many more, I realized that in high school we have no idea who we are, or who we will become, but how beautiful a process to witness who we are now! I did not want the night to end because that meant that we would all once again go our separate ways. I sadly wondered who would be here in 10 more years?
Special thanks to the committee who I’m positive painstakingly gave of their precious time to create this party for us. It was flawless!!! To Justin,Sally,Michael,Karen,J,Deborah,Heidi,Sue,Melanie and Mr. Kevin C. – I THANK YOU !!!!! And if I left anyone out, consider yourself thanked as well. I had the time of my life. Life is so precious, I vote for only waiting five more years to do it again.Till next time!