I just had my 35 year grad reunion. It was an event that was so full of love, it was amazing.
Being me, I had to write about it to express my thoughts and feelings. Here is what I wrote:
Seeing you all again has really touched me, so much so that I need to say this:
When I was growing up, we moved a lot. I started out at Carleton School where I was classmates with some of you. Then I moved. A few times.
I came to Killarney in 1979, in time to start grade 10. By then, I didn’t know that I knew anybody. I was starting a new school – again. And I felt so alone, again. Then I started noticing familiar faces. I had been out of the loop for years and I had learned not to get too attached to people because we were just going to move again. I did move again, right after grade 12. And I continued to move, never quite feeling like I had one place to call home.
Throughout the years, I have experienced things that I really needed to have friends to call on, but didn’t know that I had those friends. When I was recovering from my illness and brain injury that went with it, I was so vulnerable and afraid. I pushed through it.
Last Thursday, I suddenly got very nervous about going to the reunion. I was afraid I’d be alone in a room of people who didn’t remember me, to be honest. My whole life has been a continuous series of “passing through”. I told my daughter to make sure I went lol She’s a good kid and made sure I got to the reunion.
Then I walked in the room and saw familiar faces, friendly faces, inviting faces. As the night wore on and we talked and laughed and caught up, it was a feeling of true connection that has been such a rarity for me, but felt like an oasis in what has too often been a parched desert. My daughter even texted me on Saturday night to make sure I was having a good time. I assured her that I was having a GREAT time!
Having old friends gives life a depth; a solid and safe harbour, so that we know that no matter where we roam, we always have a place to come home to. Seeing all your beautiful faces has given me that and I can’t thank you enough.
I know we’re all busy and have busy lives, but I do hope we can plan yearly events, at least, and whoever can come will and whoever can’t, will come next time.
If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that YOU, those old friends we grow up with, are some of life’s finest treasures.
I am so grateful to have connected with you again.