5 years ago, I received an email from a high school friend about a reunion some people were planning. 100 of us finished Grade 12 and just 3 years afterwards, we had our first reunion, which was wonderful and exciting. The 25-year reunion was supposed to be a great event. We lived on the other side of the world and Gal and I felt very sorry we couldn’t go. We wrote our friends that we were sorry but our private jet was stuck in the shop with mechanical problems…
When the option of visiting our hometown came back to life, Gal and I talked about the reunion we have missed. The real dream was to find all of our friends and reunite them for a little while. We knew some of them had left the country and others had changed their last names but we hoped to meet as many of them as we could. We also wanted to meet their kids and their partners (Gal and I are partners from high school, but we really wanted to show everyone our wonderful kids). We sent an email to the people on our list to say we were coming and hoping to meet as many friends as possible for a family picnic on a Friday afternoon.
During our vacation, in the spare time between family visits, I managed to call about 20 friends. Some were away or busy, but about 14 of them said they would come.
It was noon on Friday and Gal and I sat with our kids and told them about the people they were going to meet. We were wondering if we would recognize them. After all, 25 years had passed since we had finished high school. We were all single when we last met, but now all except one had families. It was easy for me to think of myself as a mother, but it was hard for me to imagine my friends as parents too. I could still remember us on camps and outings, riding bikes together and having parties. Being part of a family was not easy to imagine. I had not even seen a photo of them from the time of the 3-year reunion.
“Will they recognize me?” I asked Gal. He had seen some of them about two years before.
“We all look the same”, he said, “Just a little bit of gray hair or no hair”
I wondered many times if I looked the same as I had 25 years before, just a little bit of gray hair, just a little bit wider and with just a few wrinkles.
Soon after, people started approaching and I was full of excitement. I guess we were very surprised to recognize one another so easily. It was amazing to see the same people, just older. I was surprised when everyone said to the others, “Wow, you look just the same”, and I sure wished I could look like I was forever 18.
Some of our friends came with littlies less then 5 years old, others came with 18 year-olds (we came with 19, 12 and 7 year-olds). Some of them were divorced, some remarried, but under the extra weight, baldness and gray hair (whether covered or not), they were the same people – the same smile, the same style – as if we had just finished high school.
We spent a few hours catching up, telling one another about what had happened to us and what we had accomplished since the last time we had met. We talked a lot about our kids and the things we do for them to have a better life than we had. We found many experiences we had all had and many that were different. It was great!
Meeting my high school friends again after 25 years, I think the main difference, except the little bit or gray hair, was a little bit of extra wisdom.