This year. 2011. Will be the 35th Anniversary of my graduation from high school. East Forsyth High School to be exact. I don't have much memory of being there quite honestly. I was on my own. Surviving. Smoking in between classes out back of the school where the designated area for girls was a long sidewalk along the side of a building of classrooms. I wasn't a cheerleader. I wasn't in the band. I don't even think I got to attend a pep rally as they all took place AFTER I had left school for the day.
I do remember wanting to be part of things. But, my life consisted of a full-time work schedule and a part-time school career. I was there to get a diploma. Not an education. I figured a real education would be obtained after I left the safe little cubicle of spoon-fed information that didn't appear to have anything to do with my real life.
I was a part of a small group that met with a counselor out on the bleachers that spring. We were there because we each had an unusual school experience - I worked full-time. One couple was married and expecting their first child. There were a couple of other guys - I don't remember much about them because I simply wasn't paying that much attention ... or maybe it's the 35 years that has dulled the memory? Anyway. It helped me make it through.
Now to celebrate those high school years? There's a re-union planned. And I've connected on Facebook with old friends. What's funny? Most of those I've re-connected with? We attended GRADE SCHOOL together! First, second, third grade! Randy - my sweetheart from 4th grade. Jane - we played at her aunt's house during the summer. Debbie - first grade friend. Susan? BEST of friends - since 3rd. I wouldn't have survived the teen years if I hadn't used her room at home as a sanctuary from the craziness of my own home life.
It is amazing the bonds we build with those we love over the years. Each person helps develop who we are and they become a part of us. Truth is? The houses, the cars, the jobs, the cash? It's all dust. What will last? What we can carry with us here and into eternity? Are the relationships we have built, the one's we continue to maintain, the one's that marked our lives then but seem to be gone now. I hold so much love in my heart for those who traveled these years with me, parallel with me, crossing and intersecting over the years. I can only hope that the joy these memories bring me are the same kinds of joys my classmates still feel when they think of me.
It's amazing to still be here after all these years and it's amazing to think of all the changes in our world and how your bestest friend in 2nd grade can STILL make our heart sing!!!