Laughter erupts as we grab nametags, bearing pictures you wish they had burned years ago, and we ask, “Now, who are you? Oh, yeah, I remember you!” And, like a gently flowing river the stories begin to trickle back.
Gathering together on porches overlooking ponds, and grass so green, we remember the smooth faces that are now permanently creased from frequent laughter and the stresses of life.
How amazing to see so many people from years gone by – It is our Floyd Junior High School Reunion.
( Photo Credit: Ralph Anderson, ralphleeanderson.zenfolio.com)
“I remember when you…Do you remember her…Where is…?”
Some of these people I have known since first grade. As I watch them from across the table, and I think of the stories of times we were together, tanning by the pool, trying to figure out boys, and a particular food fight in my mother’s kitchen that we scrambled to clean up as she drove into the driveway. I remember sleeping bags on den floors, telling secret dreams, and hopes for the future, into the early hours of the morning. Our parents knew each other, and some had also been to school together. Our siblings were friends played in our backyard.
We walked from the dances to Shakey’s Pizza Parlor (something we would never allow our children to do nowadays) sharing stories with each other, as we have continued to do through college and then while raising our children.
This night, we continue the story of our lives, pulling out our Smart Phones to tell about our children and grandchildren; and, sharing stories about what has happened since we last have seen each other. That is the glue of friendship – the stories.
The ones who have gone before us were remembered as well. We tell what we know, and we miss them…still.
Gathering with those, with whom we have common history, common mentors, and common neighborhoods is a treasure not all people have. In a crowded world, where community is difficult to find, I see, on this night, several hundred people who have lived a common history. We “get” each other. Being with this group, after so many years, felt like coming home.
Home, where you know so much about each one. Where lives intersect with your own, and become a part of you. These whom we have grown up around, influenced who we are with expressions they use, the way they style their hair, or a philosophy, which guided their life – it stays with you. To a certain extent, you carry them with you wherever life takes you – and somehow these friends are family.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” ~C. S. Lewis
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