My voice is hoarse and crackling, my face is sore from smiling and my heart feels a little fuller after a weekend spent among classmates from another era. As my daughter plays and romps in the years we reminisced about, I marvel at the passage of time even as it seems to stand still.
A High School Reunion can let us revisit, for a short time, our younger selves from the secure and steady position of our adult selves. It can give us a glimpse into the relative naive innocence of our teens, or put a new perspective on an experience from a parent’s point of view.
I felt the joy of reconnecting even if simply to hear where someone is living and where life has taken them. We share a history, however loose or strong, while having been absent in each others’ lives for decades perhaps.
Vivid, crisp memories, mixed with blurry-edged ones. Memories nestled down and hidden from view were pulled out like a favorite old album from an attic chest. Dusted off and given light, once retrieved, those tucked away memories were clear again. How had that moment, that nugget of my life, that sliver of friendship been forgotten? I felt gratitude as those nuggets were passed around, shined up and brought back to me to hold again.
Some memories were lost to me, but were held safely by another. One woman approached me and shared a memory of being at my 9th or 10th birthday party and my Dad sending me flowers that arrived during the party. The roses were in a long white box tied with a bow. Her face was unfamiliar, her name jiggled a recollection deep within my archives but she held a shared moment within her for all these decades. She told me she’s thought of me, even in just a fleeting flash, whenever she or someone near her would receive roses. The touching memory of my Dad sending me flowers was lost to me but delivered from the past over 30 years later.
Thoughts from the past stirred me down to smells and emotions. From chatting about what we’re doing now and how old our kids are, to learning new things about people who were long ago friends.
Peering around at the group, I smiled, we all looked somehow so much the same with a few more laugh lines and a little more gray, most of us parents now, navigating high school from the flip side.
We shared our growing up years and spent the weekend somewhere between getting reacquainted and meeting old friends anew. There were differences in interactions and relationships from our uncertain adolescent selves to our undeniable, nearing mid-life (yikes!) adults.
Thanks to Newtown High School Class of 1988 for an amazing high school reunion weekend! (Clearly, I have no hangups about sharing my age!) I’m happy to know you all!