Im not an old codger.
Im not an old crone.
I have all my teeth
And my hair is my own.
My posture is straight,
My dress size still small.
My mind is still working,
And thats best of all!
Then what in the world was I doing at a 50th class reunion? And what were all these other people I knew in high school doing here, looking just as fit, being just as sharp, but being so much more friendly than ever before? Could we really all be that old?
I used to have this notion that people who go to their 50th high school reunion must be ancient. How wrong I was. How wrong I was about a lot of things. How wrong they were about a lot of things. Now that we are all grown up, we can see each other in a much clearer light. Suddenly, all those people who were wrapped up in their own teen-aged concerns are now people Id like to get to know better. Suddenly, I wanted to hug each one and tell them Im sorry I didnt get to know them back then. I too had my own teen-aged concerns to deal with. Sitting together for the program of the evening, I felt the warmth of comradry I never felt in high school. Who were all these people seated around me who had names I remembered, but little else. On this night, suddenly, I felt at ease when talking to the men Id never dreamed of approaching when they were boys. Suddenly, the girls who never had the time of day for me were slipping their arms around my waist and telling me how great it was to see me. Many times, I didnt remember who they were, but I said the same to them. And I meant it. Im so glad high school is ancient history, and we can now build relationships on shared memories of our high school days and commit to being better friends from now on. For me, It was not just a celebration of having survived these 50 years, but the beginning of a better understanding of who we are and why we are still here.
Sadly, some of us are not still here, but after all, it was our 50th.
The most amazing part of the evening for me was not renewing friendships, not catching up on the news of other classmates, but discovering a gem who was hidden from me and my college-prep classmates. Her name was not Lisa, but Ill call her that for now. She was the one who offered to drive me to and from the party. She didnt remember me, but she didnt care. She knew I needed a ride. When I told her frankly that I didnt know her either and wondered why, since it was a fairly small graduating class, she told me that she had been in the slow learners class. Imagine being called a slow learner and being isolated from the rest of the student body. Today, she is friendly, warm, and energetic, a woman Id like to know as a friend. I couldnt have been friends with her back then. Today, at age 68 or so, Lisa has a loving husband, grandchildren, and a passion for cake decorating. Shes even starting her own business of teaching the art. All I can think is You go girl. Talk about being an inspiration.
This reunion was a dot on the map of my life. I dont know at which milestone it was, but Im so glad I made the stop.