It’s high school class reunion time.
Which box are you going to tick?
1. Yes, I will be present.
2. I cannot attend.
Hope you pull out your checkbook or credit card and make a reservation.
I didn’t attend high school reunions until I was 50. I regret having waited so long.
I had lost touch with close friends and feared the usual cliques would resurface – so I was hesitant to attend.
Our high school graduating class had 300 people. Does anyone remember me?
Decades have passed.
When my 50th meeting happened, I thought, “It’s now or never.”
Several close friends and I tested the waters by meeting for pizza the night before the big event.
We each swore to reconnect with friends outside of our circle.
The following night – at the official dinner – connecting after 50 with classmates I barely knew was a delightful insight into their world.
Then another decade passed and our 60th meeting was near.
This gathering took place over three days and gave birth to our 1953 promotion newsletter — Memories “R” Us. Just yesterday, I received Newsletter n°151,
As we get older, we realize that meetings are not contests to see who is the most successful, who is the most beautiful.
Reunions become a time to reconnect.
Over time, our class dwindled to 115 people still alive. We learned, just like in kindergarten, that it’s time to hold hands. After all, we are taking our last steps.
In addition to my meetings, attending Bill’s meetings has been fun.
For some reason, Bill and I have always strayed in different directions at parties.
At his last meeting, I walked around and noticed a woman wearing a lime green backpack that said: Mayo Clinic.
Since I had an identical backpack, I stopped to talk with her.
“Do you live or work near the Mayo Clinic? I asked.
“I live about an hour north of Mayo, closer to Minneapolis. By the way, my name is Vivian.
I introduced myself and said, “My husband had a kidney transplant in Mayo, Minnesota.
“What are you doing in Minnesota? ” I asked.
“Years ago I graduated as a nurse, worked for two years, then married my husband Tom, whom I met on a blind date. .
“Tom and I had two biological children and then adopted six more.”
“You raised eight children?
“Well, not all at once,” she laughed. “But close.
“After our biological children were all in school, we put ourselves on a waiting list to adopt one or two school-aged children.
“In 1970, social services called us and said they had a group of three biracial school-aged siblings who were in desperate need of housing. The agency did not want to separate the children.
“Would we take all three?” they asked.
“Of course we said yes.’ Then a few years later, a similar situation arose.
“At that point we thought we had the hang of it – so we said ‘yes’ and suddenly Tom and I had eight kids.”
“How could you afford to raise so many?”
“Well, Tom’s build was successful – we weren’t rich, but we did well.”
I was moved by the beauty of this woman and her husband.
Maybe finding that beauty is what meetings are all about.
Meetings remind us that there are diamonds among us. Even in high school – when some of us were still diamonds in the rough.
Readers, are you planning to go to your next class reunion?
If not — why not?