I had my fifteen year high school reunion last night. I woke up this morning and I thought, "fifteen. fifteen. one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen..."
How did that happen? Sometimes I feel like it can't be possible. Other times I feel like it's been even longer. Mostly I just don't feel my age. Ever.

But that's not the point. And neither is this, but just for the record I don't think there needs to be a fifteen year reunion. Most schools do reunions only every ten years. Much more suspense and time to lose weight between reunions. But I digress. Again.

I did have a good time last night despite my being against the fifteen year thing. I saw people I hadn't seen at the ten year reunion, and many I hadn't seen since. It was good.

Over the years, I've learned that we had a unique experience in our day, the class of '93 in small-town MN. We grew up with the same people in our class since kindergarten, seeing each other through all of the changes and growth that is adolescence. We know each other's families and have experienced each other's tragedies and joys. It creates such a bond to know someone this way. The connections of sharing history and a true understanding of the years that make up a person. I had a good high school experience. To the extent that on the day of graduation, I felt grief. A sense of loss. I knew that a chapter was closing, or at least changing. I knew I would miss these fixtures of my life, the people who had helped to shape me, those I had come to see as family.

Many of us have stayed in touch, seeing each other through the ups and downs of the last fifteen years. There have been college degrees, jobs, moves, marriages, deaths, babies, and more babies. Each of us has changed in immeasurable ways. But when we get together, like we did last night all of that kind of falls away. Sure, we talk about what we've been doing, where we've lived, our current lives. But seeing those familiar faces also brings us back a little and we can act like kids for awhile. We're not afraid to run up and hug someone who hasn't laid eyes on us in years. We're happy to stand next to someone, their arm around our shoulders as they goof off and make everyone laugh. We are comfortable.

I'm a total sap, everyone knows that. I love people. I love these people. I always will. They are my history and a part of my heart. One friend, who was like a sister to me in our childhood, said it best when she looked at me last night and said, "never think I don't think about you. You guys are the people who really know me, even if we don't talk. And I know that if I ever needed you, you would be there in a heartbeat and I would do the same for you." I was looking at those big brown eyes I've known since elementary school, and it felt really good to hear those words.

P.S. Somehow, I got wrangled in to planning the twenty year. And somehow I told an old friend (you know who you are!) that I blog. He's an excellent writer and I have no idea what I was thinking. R, start up your blog today - yes, you have to because then I get to read what you write and that's only fair!

3 clicked right here to comment:

Kimberly said...

Oooo...it's so nervous-making, that sharing of the ole blog address with real life friends!

I'm so glad to have settled into a small town and really hope my girls feel the same connection to the people here that you feel to those you grew up with.

charrette said...

The part here that really resonated for me was your last paragraph -- what your friend said to you: "never think I don't think about you. You guys are the people who really know me, even if we don't talk. And I know that if I ever needed you, you would be there in a heartbeat and I would do the same for you." I feel like that about so many people from my past. And I secretly hope they can feel me thinking about them once in awhile.
And there IS something so comforting about people who have known you for a long time, who REALLY know you (and still love you!). :)

MidnightCafe said...

Aaaaaawwwww...now I miss all my old friends! Maybe I should plan a reunion.

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