“It” came today. The reunion picture arrived by mail. A wonderful reminder from a very unique and special event. “It” will only happen once. There are many who I wish would have shown up for this event, but alas, I can’t fret about the missing, I can rejoice about the many who were present. Two nights of group activities, and then it was over. I am armed with incredible memories and some great pictures, and frankly, even greater stories relived and reminded.
And of course, the reprise of a moment in time I have never forgotten… I think of it as a seminal Senior Class moment.. I am not alone, based on those who joined in song. This song, performed by a group of our classmates was ultimately sung in chorus at the Senior Assembly, June 1969, sung by many, perhaps sung by all became an anthem.
“Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better”
And so I have a word of encouragement for those of you who wonder and waffle when you time comes. If you have the chance to go to your 50th High School reunion… I have only one word for you……”GO!”
I suppose there are many reasons to miss gathering with a group of friends from your younger days. After all is said in done, this gathering is a celebration with people I only see on the rarest of occasions. So many who have come to celebrate something that was 50 years ago probably can find more reasons to avoid the event then to take the time to be a part of it. “I did not like high school,” could be one. “I won’t remember anyone,” might be another. And of course the time and cost involved. Pick your reason, choose your poison, I will tell you, from my experience, your reason to miss the gathering will fade from your consciousness when the party begins. At least that it what I have observed.
I continue to marvel at the caring and respect shared with friends who have so little in common in the present, but who’s younger days left an indelible mark on my heart. Blessings to you all.
Two days of glory. And though the party and meeting rooms were filled with people who outside of this group have active and fruitful and opinionated lives, The reunion value was obvious. No Politics, no anger, no arguments. It was So NOT Facebook. It was a group of individuals with a multitude of opinions and experiences across varying social and economic strata. And yet the fellowship of the moment with this unique group of people seemed to shine with more light and gravitas. They were nights to remember, for oh, so many reasons.
I am called by some… or at least by one.. “an unabashed sentimentalist!” and I cry out…Guilty as charged. But more than sentimental, I would just like to think I am observant. I would like to think I just have a different take on some things that I see. I like to think that occasionally I see something that no one else might notice. And then I try to give it some form or substance. Many will remember this exclamation!… “I See Dead People” is a memorable quote from the 1999 supernatural film The Sixth Sense. Well I don’t see dead people, but I do see living ones.
The French call it “joie de vivre,” the joy of living. I am not always the best at “it” but I am really great at observing “it.” I love to watch “it”, perhaps I am an unabashed voyeur. I am not a visitor to the mall or Walmart or airport look at strangers kind of guy however. I love to watch folks with whom I have a history. And so it was with Bob and Curtis and Tim and Carol and Doris and Ric and Sydna and Mary and Don and Ron and Mark and so very many others. My enjoyment of watching reunion joy is always so much fun. The attendees, myself included, check out name tags which include the youthful Center High School Senior pictures, and smiles begin to emerge. The exclamation of “I remember you” spoken or not, always seems to bring a smile to both parties. But in the midst of the remembrance, there are also those with whom I have NO recollection or recognition… Who are you? Actually, it really did not matter to me if you forgot me, or I forgot you… I believe you were there, I remember we were there, together for numerous years, until we all left 50 years ago.
Is it just me?
What triggers the joy and excitement? Why is this such a special time? After all, most of these folks in attendance are just story lines from my long ago younger days. Granted, sprinkled in among this mass of relative strangers are a few very close friends I keep within arms length, and still see with some regularity. But in this mass, in this crowd, there is a unique energy created that surrounds me and envelopes me. It is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. I can’t believe it is just me, because I see this spirit of joy surround the crowd. It is intoxicating. It is attractive. It is desirable. It is real. And although it has taken 50 years to generate this very special energy, for me it is like yesterday.
Did you notice it?
I have had this premonition twice before in a large group of familiar strangers. Both have also been reunion formats, joining friends from decades past.
I really don’t know what others believe, but I know what I believe. I know why these reunion events are so very special to me. I don’t think it is a coincidence or an accident that as the group returns to their reminders of younger days that there is this genuine sense that the 50 gap seems as though it was just a part of yesterday. Allen’s drive in, Friday night lights, notes passed, the classroom stories and the gym class uniforms, drama, choir, and the hallways, all seem like they were only yesterday.
“Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her”
Why are these times so unique, so special, so cherished? I believe this is a glimpse of heaven. This is an energy and spirit unlike anything else I have ever felt or experienced. It has not been captured in any other venue. I believe in heaven. I believe occasionally, that we get to have a glimpse of what it might be like to exalt for a moment in the life on the other side of the veil. It is a very special glimpse of something eternal.
I don’t know what you believe will happen to you once your picture appears on the “In Remembrance” board. No one really knows. I have my hopes.
I believe that it will get better. Welcome to my glimpse of heaven.. It seems like only yesterday.
“Remember to let her into your heart (hey Jude)
Then you can start to make it better”