What My 50th High School Reunion Meant
There we were. A bunch of kids transformed into old men and women by fifty years of living. It’s hard to believe, but with the exception of my friends Ed and Nick, I hadn’t seen any of them in half a century. As I wrote in a poem prior to going, for those few hours, we were young again. Old stories in high school, buried in the archives of our memories, suddenly were front and center. New memories were created. Maybe even new relationships. I remember talking to people whom I didn’t talk to in high school, because we travelled in different circles. But we all walked in the same hallways and classrooms and had many of the same teachers and coaches, so we had that in common.
And when I talked to people I knew then, I saw that they weren’t different. That whatever happened in their lives, they hadn’t really changed. And the heart-break that is part of living, didn’t show…at least for that night. In a way that seemed magical, they became the kids I knew in high school.
And the people who were gone – on display in our memorial – were a stark reminder not only about the shortness of life; but that we are fortunate for the time we still have. I could hear my friend and classmate John, gone two years, say to me, “Don’t waste it!”
I know I’ll never see most of them again. But for those few hours, we revived a lost world…and were young again. It was a rare opportunity that I’m glad I didn’t miss.