Columnist: Remembering the good times, people
Reunions, whether they are family or class, do something wonderful to the soul of a person.
They warm you with memories that were hidden and suddenly brought back to life. Reunions make you wish you could stay longer, hug tighter and hold on to the people that made such a difference in your life.
Our 50th high school reunion was on Oct. 3 for LaGrange High School. We had a large crowd that gathered to go back to a time that filled a lot of our days with laughter. I suddenly was 17 again. Although I have to admit, I never have acted very grown up.
Yes, age has changed us. The hair is grayer or balder, the skin not as smooth, the bodies not as toned, but once you see past the age, there is the 17 year old with the same smile, the same twinkle in the eye, and the same heart.
People surprise you at reunions. Sometimes you think you might have been forgotten by an old friend that you haven’t seen in years. That life just parted you for some reason. I was standing watching a video of people showing how they had changed through the years.
One of my best friends couldn’t be there that night and was facing some challenges ahead with his health. When his pictures came on the screen, I looked for a minute and then couldn’t look anymore. Tears filled my eyes and I had to turn away.
It was dark and I reached for a napkin to dry my eyes and not make a scene. Suddenly I felt someone grab me, turn me around, and just hold on to me. I haven’t seen this wonderful person much in the last 50 years but she knew what I felt and understood and held. Some friendships come back just like that.
Some of us, about 18 percent, are gone. When the montage of memoriam pictures showed their faces, I felt as if they were there — not gone. It was so quiet in the room you could have heard a pin drop and some tears fall. We all know that in five more years the percentage will grow, but for this one night we were here and enjoying one another and very appreciative that we still were.
As people started to leave, I was sitting at a table with a friend of mine.
“Alec, why are they leaving?”
With his dry humor, he stared toward the door as they filed out, and said, “I don’t know, but I know I will be a little depressed tomorrow. I always am after one of these”.
I knew exactly how he felt. I am always that way as well. I thought about that for a while and realized that we all went back in time to get in touch with all those folks that we shared an era with.
We try to catch up many years in a night, and it can’t be done. About five of us stayed until the last napkin was removed from the last table. We honestly tried.
Reunions are exactly what they are for a reason. We are reuniting with people that mean the world to us. They give us an occasion to do so and say, “I love you, thank you and I haven’t forgotten you.”
The next time you are invited to a reunion of any kind, GO! It is God’s way of reminding you that loved ones will always be there with a smile, a hug and a pocketful of memories.