I just got back from a great weekend celebrating a 40th high school reunion. It was fun to listen to everyone talk about the crazy times they had together and allowing us a glimpse into their life stories since graduation…try to pack in 40 years of life stories in a few hours! You hear the best and worst…the stories that possibly had the biggest impact in their life. I enjoyed observing the camaraderie and friendships renewed. The laughter was contagious. I was glad to be a part of the reunion, even if it was not my own.
It’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever experience my own high school reunion. It’s unlikely because I attended three different high schools within a span of four years. I wonder if there are other people who fall into the “three-high-schools-in-four-years” category.
There is a good reason for attending different schools…we lived in a particular school district for freshman and sophomore years; in my junior year, segregation laws required that I attend a school on the other side of the city; and my father took a new job out-of-state at the beginning of my senior year.
If I had a choice, out of the three high schools to attend a reunion, I would choose the one that holds the fondest memories…freshman and sophomore years. My junior year was a brutal race to survive–I couldn’t wait for the year to end…it was a rough experience for a good many students. At the end of my senior year, I remember standing in line, alphabetical order, with people (that I didn’t know) with last names that began with the same letter as mine. I recall introducing myself to them before we walked onto the stage to receive our diplomas, but quickly forgot their names after throwing my cap in the air. I was relieved to get in my car and drive away from high school.
The memories of my high school years are a compilation of bliss and anxiety. Whatever joys or hardships that I experienced during those years of change, helped to shape and define my character and to mold a resolute will to stay the course. I can’t take for granted that God is the author of my story. What I didn’t know then, but do know now is that God was faithfully rescuing me with his generous grace. I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else.
The best part about moving to a new city at the beginning of my senior year was meeting my future husband…that would take me to his 40th high school reunion one day! Honestly, I never expected this and for certain, my husband’s 40th high school reunion has never been written on my bucket list, but there it is checked off anyway.
While reunions are a lot of work to plan for a short-lived experience, it can leave a positive impact on those that made the effort to come. Besides making new contacts for business and new Facebook friends or following someone new on Twitter, this reunion unearthed many of the early memories my husband and I have of meeting each other as teenagers and eventually making a promise to one another that hasn’t been broken in almost 40 years.
We arrived together at this reunion with a lot of memories from the past but we left with a rekindled promise, a commitment to each other. We have been married all our lives, but not long enough.
My husband commented about a 50th reunion in the future. My answer to that was, “No thank you, we’re going on a cruise!”
Addendum: After my husband read this post, he said that he couldn’t believe I would choose a cruise over a 50th reunion. So, we’ll do both…especially when I just found out from reading a Facebook comment that I’ll always be a part of their reunion, an honorary “Wildcat!” (Thanks, Sally!)