Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Class reunions, old friends and changing roles
This past weekend was my high school class reunion. And as I sit here looking through hundreds of photos of people I have known well for most of my life, people I knew well for only a year or two before we went our separate ways and people I knew only by name or sight, I have some thoughts to share.
The people who knew us when we were growing into our skins, so to speak, have a preciousness (is that a word?) that no one else in our lives can match. We can meet someone at 25 and be friends with them for the rest of our lives, and yet it cannot match spending a few hours with someone who was there as we journeyed from childhood to adulthood.
People who intimidated us in high school because they seemed more together or smarter or prettier or more talented become equals later in life when the bumps and struggles and lessons of life have evened the playing field. And among those who we most envied, we may find a friend who will confess that the feeling was mutual.
The things that mattered so very, very much in high school, like being thin enough or having perfect hair or wearing the perfect dress fall away, as you hug and catch up and share a laugh over an old photo or a tear over the news that a classmate has passed away far too soon (R.I.P Steve Flanagan.)
Being with people who knew you then, and still remember your name is one of the greatest gifts I've received lately.
Counting my blessings, sorting through the photos and looking forward to the next one in 10 years. May we all be well, all be smiling and all be present.