Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Where Did The Time Go?

This past weekend I attended my 50th high school reunion.  50 years!  Where did the time go?  It was great to see so many old friends, to renew some friendships, and to remember friends no longer on the journey of life.  The actual experience of high school is a mixed bag for many people.  Some hated it and never want to think about it again.  They graduated and became dust in the wind.  Overall I had a wonderful high school experience.  The only negative was not excelling on an academic level.  I found myself and discovered my gifts much later in life.  Some of my English teachers may be surprised to realize I actually learned to write and that I am pretty good at it. I enjoyed my friendships, including the girls I loved, and all the adventures I had with my particular gang of people.  My "gang" was primarily the kids trying to be hippies.  Of course, I also had many friends who were not hippies.  Some people from high school have never stopped being my friends.  Other people were long distance friends thanks to technology.  There are even some people I know better now than I did while we were actually in high school.

Over the years I have attended my 20th, 40th, and 50th reunions.  Recently a friend remarked to me that she went to her 10th reunion for an all girl school and she hated it.  Her impression was that the old clicks from high school were still the old clicks and that people were generally as awful as she remembered them.  My experience has been quite different.  I have found that almost everyone has mellowed over the years and no is trying to impress anyone else.  I say this as a member of a class where many people became very successful in life by worldly standards.  This past weekend I found everyone to be genuinely personable, affectionate, and happy to see one another.  My class was very large and it was impossible to know everyone well.  Obviously I know some better than others.  I was feeling a lot of love this weekend, nor only from others, but for others.

As I looked around the informal gathering on Friday night, and the more formal dinner on Saturday night, I thought about all the journeys each of the people had traveled throughout life.  My classmates and I have walked many miles and in the words of Forest Gump "we've owned lots of shoes".  We have scattered all over the country and even the world.  Whatever level of success was achieved it was not without struggle.  Life is also not fair so some have experienced more struggle than others.  A significant number of classmates have passed away.  Some of them were quite young.  Others left us more recently.  Those of us who are left are survivors of life.  None of us are without scars.  We have all experienced loss, pain, and heartache.  Hopefully, we have also experienced joy, happiness, some level of success, love, and contentment.

Life is not about success or destination.  Life is about the journey.  We have made it this far and we can laugh and smile and enjoy our memories.  The journey is not over for us yet.  As the poet Robert Frost once wrote, "There are miles to go before we sleep".  Let us go forward in love and peace and joy.  My friends, "it ain't over until it's over".  Live long and prosper!       

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This entry brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears, I guess. I'm only ANONYMOUS because I don't know how to do the other modes. Barbe Mascharka

Tim Harmon said...

Michael,

This captured a lot of what I felt this weekend, as well. I enjoyed the other reunions, too, but this one was different — made that way, like I think you are saying, by the way most everyone seemed to have finally grasped this concept of truly valuing each other again.

We didn’t know each other very well then, but I regret we did not cross paths last weekend. You truly have the Warhawk spirit!

Unknown said...

Michael...I agree with you writing...back in "69" we "ALL" had our own groups, friends and or buds! I feel so lucky to have had my group back then and yes I feel so lucky to this day, fifty years later, to fit in "ALL" of our Classmates GROUPS!

We "ALL" are so lucky to still be walking, enjoying and remembering years ago.

Thanks Michael Brown your a friend FOREVER!

Linda Fitzner said...

You definitely put your thoughts into words so beautifully. I'm still on a "high" from this wonderful reunion. It was lovely meeting you & I look forward to more words of wisdom from you. Thank you! Linda Fitzner Bowman

Angela Gott said...

This is the first time I have read your blog. Thanks for sharing it. I really liked what you had to say about our 50th reunion. I attended the same ones as you also. I like the part you talked about our lives being a journey and that none of us are without scars. I think that is how we learn and overcome obstacles. I think just managing to make this trip to KY and back counts as a success too.