Monday, September 26, 2011

In good company . . .

I worried about attending a class reunion . . .

This is a telling photo. I think it is from our senior prom.
Yes, we all felt like losers with no dates.

But you can survive high school if you have a good friend. I was blessed. I had a good friend and a group of good friends to hang with . . . to ride the bus together, celebrate birthdays, go to church, go to ballgames and more.

And I had a tiny place to succeed.
I sang in a trio through high school.

There were others that I enjoyed spending time with as well . . . all girls. I did not have a boyfriend nor did I have boys that were friends. Somehow, I wrapped much of my self-worth around that detail. I assumed that on the “most likely class list”, I was the one most likely to never marry and never have children. I am so glad that I was wrong! I was blessed—abundantly blessed. Even so, I still got cold feet and nearly did not attend my class reunion.

But I went. I did a little self-talk . . . “This is not about you. Let others tell you their stories.”

I had a conversation the night before I left with my good friend, Carol. We both chuckled at the dialog that we never expected to have, "Okay, then I'll meet you at Ickeys."

Another conversation that made us chuckle was that we marveled over the great price of gas in Archbold. who would have thought we would be appreciating gas that was over $3.00 per gallon! We actually saw it a couple of cents lower at another station.

My three most enjoyable and heartfelt conversations at the actual reunion were with men—boys from my class that I never had one conversation with in high school and I would remember if I had. I loved hearing a piece of their stories.

But my real highlight was my dear girlfriends—staying up until
3:00 a.m., catching up and reveling in the real friendships that have spanned our lifetimes. (One of our group of six was unable to attend.)

All six of us have experienced deep grief and sadness and all of us have received unbelievable blessings and happy times. Through it all God has sustained us and held us in His hand.

After the reunion luncheon, a group of attendees discussed “doing high school again.” Some have much fonder stories than I. Some were successful athletes. One thought high school was “a blast.” We agreed that the pressures of high school are much more complex and challenging than when we attended. Our issues were simpler.

Three boys got sent home from our senior trip for attending a Yankees ballgame without permission.

Regarding high school, one man said, “Sure, I would gladly do it again if I could know all that I know now.” But in that particular group the consensus was, “Definitely not. I would not want to go back.”

As I looked around the group, I sensed camaraderie between those that were in my class—somewhat of a recognition that age was taking its toll on all of us and life experiences have had somewhat of an equalizing effect on us. Everyone has a story. I am sorry that I did not have time to hear more of their stories. I will attend my next high school reunion.


Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing this Brenda. I really enjoyed reading it. Yes, as Oprah once said..."Everyone has a story"

Rebecca said...

I'm SO glad you were able to go and included the picture! I clicked on it and clicked again and got a really good up-close look at everybody. I remembered/could identify about 50%.

As it turned out my original reason for not being able to attend was replaced by a bad case of poison ivy (and those bee stings) that has sidelined me pretty much of 2 weeks. That coupled with Gary's cardioversion have about whipped us over the past week.

Diana said...

I'm glad that you went Brenda. It sounds like it was an enlightening experience for you. I loved those Prom dresses! We look for those dresses now at the thrift stores but they are hard to find in good condition! Just beautiful.
Love Di ♥

Joanie said...

Brenda, I do not do Facebook but Jeanne forwarded your blog to me. Wow! Being a high school student was and is difficult. Although I was unaware or maybe naive about a lot of issues, I did often feel left out and alone.
The reunion of the class of 1966 was healing and uplifting to many. I am so glad you chose to come. I have always admired you and respected the choices you have made and how well you articulate your thoughts, feelings, and faith. I am sure you inspired classmates as you conversed with them. I count you as a special friend. Joanie