Oh, what fun we had this past weekend! I’m still smiling about all the memories we made. It was my 20-year high school reunion and many of my old (NOT, I repeat, NOT, as in old age!) runnin’ buddies were in town.
Of course, we had been chatting about the event for more than a year beforehand, so the anticipation had been building for quite some time. Since I missed the ten-year-reunion because I was 11 months pregnant with my son (felt like it anyhow!), I wasn’t about to miss the twenty. I literally hadn’t seen several of them since we walked the stage that day in May.
There were many options for classmates during the reunion weekend – Mass and pep rally during the week, the football game on Friday night, a campus tour on Saturday morning, an Alumni golf tournament that afternoon, and the reunion party on Saturday evening. One could do as much or as little as they wanted.
The two things that we were able to attend were the campus tour and the reunion party. The tour of my ole alma mater was a walk down memory lane. The moment I stepped into the royal blue, locker-filled hallway, I began to recall my days at STJ. I vividly remember talking with friends, rushing to classes, doing homework and projects, decorating lockers for games, playing sports, cheering for our team, going to Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, and Prom. The scent in the hallway brought it all back. Was it the vintage wood or the original lockers still residing there? I’m not sure, but the smell flooded my heart with memories.
I had to convince my children that they did not serve donuts and coffee in the library when I was a student there. I assured them that it was only a part of the special tour. They’re still doubtful and think that I enjoyed a sugary sweet breakfast for each one of my high school days. Yee-haw!
One of the tour highlights was that my children were able to witness first-hand a perfect circle being drawn…on a dry erase board…in less than a second…with one big, circular swoop of his arm…by the amazing Mr. Pozzi. They will never forget that circle…or the donuts.
After the tour, we all parted ways and were eager to get ready for the party that evening. My good friend, Kim, and I arrived early to set-up. STJ had provided a big “Welcome Back” poster of our senior class photo. After twenty years, I still remember taking that picture like it was yesterday. Sigh. My mom had also given me a bag full of high school pictures that I had stored at her house. So, of course, I grabbed some tape and made a photo board. The conversation piece, however, was a painted mural that at one time adorned the walls of our high school gym for Homecoming. It was hard to believe that my classmate’s mom had kept it for all these years. Thank you, Mrs. Daley!
My cousin, Kelly, graduated in ’93 as well from another local high school and she was in charge of the karaoke fun. She truly knows how to get a party started, so we knew we were in good hands with her handling the entertainment! She knew most of my graduating class…heck, I thought she went to school with us for as much time as she spent on our campus – hee hee! Oh, and I made her a little “Throw-back Thursday” poster with high school pics as well…(you’re welcome, honey! I love you, too!)
Okay, so one by one, our classmates started arriving. I was both excited and nervous. I mean, twenty years is a long time in between reuniting with folks. But, there weren’t any huge shockers, with facebook and all…we could mostly guess who everybody was with a good amount of confidence. There were a few friends that literally had not changed one iota. I will be contacting them soon for a small bottle of their fountain of youth lotion. Trey…you’re one of them! Some of my buds had lost hair, some had grown facial hair (the men, the men! Goodness, you people!), some had gray hair, some hair hadn’t change a bit.
But, the coolest part was that no one actually noticed all the details that we potentially fretted over and worried about before coming…What do I wear? Does this make me look fat? Should I arrive early or fashionably late? Are these jeans slimming enough? Did I cover-up all the gray? Is my muffin-top too noticeable in this shirt? Are these extra high heels going to cut off circulation in my feet? Is my beer belly that obvious? Is my dress too tight? Will my arms keep flappin’ long after the wave? Will they force me to sing karaoke? Will people remember EVERYTHING I did in high school? Will there be awkward silence since it’s been twenty years?
No one cared. No one noticed. As soon as we walked through the door, we just picked up right where we left off in 1993. We had a wonderful dinner and I marveled at how everyone had their same laugh, same smile, same bear hug, same silly humor, or their same sweet shy side. Literally, everyone that came wanted to be there and hung out like time had simply stood still for all of these years.
However, once a few folks had a bit of liquid courage, the karaoke excitement really took off. The boys were rappin’, the girls were clappin’ and Proud Mary was rollin’…rollin’…rollin’ on a riv-ah! Kelly said it happens every time. About thirty minutes before closing time, brave guys and gals finally make their way to the stage and ask for “just one last song...just one more.”
So, before the place forced us all into our cars, my cousin and I belted out one more Reba. Good times, Kelly. Good times. But, no one was ready to call it a night. We were enjoying each other’s company so much that we wanted more. People wanted to get together…after the get-together. So, my husband and I propped open our eyelids with toothpicks and drove downtown. The back-side of thirty normally goes to bed before 3:00 am…at least in this house, they do! My feet kept yelling, “house shoes, house shoes” and my body hollered for, “pajamas, pajamas!” I told them to be quiet.
We reunited once again for more visiting and reminiscing. It was fabulous. The evening could not have been more memorable and I’m thankful to all who were a special part of it. The kicker was the four hours of sleep that we got before church on Sunday morning. Yawn.
So, to captivate the attention of my readers who also might be going on four hours or less because of a job, a new baby, or children who roam around in the night playing musical beds, these one-second sermons are for you:
- If you can’t see the bright side, polish the dull side.
- Kind words make good echoes.
- Life is short, pray hard.
- The best things in life aren’t things.
- No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.
- Life is a measure to be filled, not a cup to be drained.
- When you’re green with envy, you’re ripe for trouble.
- We stand tallest when we stoop to help others.
- The best way to have the last word is to apologize.
- Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
- Marry someone you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be just as important as any.
- When you say, “I love you,” mean it.
- When you say, “I'm sorry,” look the person in the eye.
- Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live.
- Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
- Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Spend some time alone.
And, finally, if my classmates and I were so excited about a twenty-year reunion, I can only imagine the heavenly reunion after our last days on this earth. Let’s live a life that we can be proud to recount and reminisce about with our Maker. Have a great week, Sunshines!