Next year is my 100 year class reunion. Seriously. Well, okay - reunions. Either way, I've been around a while.
Because of Daddy's job change right after my junior year in high school, I had to move an hour away from all the school friends I'd ever known. I won't even pretend that I did that graciously. But doggone if I didn't meet Charles at the new school. In fact, the photo in the back of "Hey, God? Yes, Charles." was taken at one of our reunions by a classmate. She, by the way, is still married to her high school sweetheart, also in our class. A batch of us continue to hang out all these 50 years later.
But as good as that move turned out to be in future husband and friendship terms, it didn't mean I hadn't left behind other wonderful people and close friends in my hometown. I went back and forth so much during my senior year, even during school hours, that one of my old teachers once asked me if I had really moved.
I heard from some of these original classmates recently, just a couple of days after meeting with a few of the succeeding ones to plan our 50th reunion next summer. My first-through-11th-grade bunch was also planning a 50th, this one in the fall. They were rounding up everybody for current contact information. As my updates posted and began to filter across the closed Facebook page for that graduating class, the floodgates opened. I've kept up with lots of these guys but now I was hearing from folks I haven't seen in, well, 30 or 50 years. One gal called me the next night. We met when she moved to my elementary school in fourth grade. As we talked, the years fell away.
Sadly, I've also been looking at the list of deceased classmates from both schools. To be honest, seeing all those names in one place is a little shocking. A lot of kids (my late husband included) won't make it to their 50th year class reunion, much less two of them. I know that high school experiences vary greatly from person to person. But whether yours was good, bad, or indifferent, you've still had years of a lot of people in your life, both before and after graduation, in and out of school. Don't wait to find those you miss or care about or the ones who made a difference. If nothing else, these reunions are a reminder of how fast 50 -- or even a hundred -- years go by.