I somehow knew that getting together with my old high school pal Carol would eventually lead to reuniting with the rest of the gang. And I was right. She arranged a dinner with three of the others; the only one not around is Roland, who lives in Florida. But Margaret Ann and Mark met us for dinner. Hubby joined us, certain he would be bored to tears. He needed not have worried. He loved getting to know the old gang.
We were celebrating Mark’s graduation (a second degree at 56), new job, and successful completion of a rehab program. I had to laugh when we spent most of the evening remembering some of the antics we pulled off in high school that involved alcohol and/or illegal substances. Margaret Ann is still the same sweet, adorable girl I remembered, welcoming and accepting. It felt as though no time had passed, even though it had been more than 35 years since we’d all seen each other.
We remembered a lot. As Margaret Ann said, “Collectively, we remember it all.” And I think that’s important. There’s a certain comfort to be found in remembering how we started out, and we can use that to measure how far we’ve come and nod our heads and know it’s not such a bad thing. We had some interesting turns along the way, but none of us got really lost, at least not lost enough to not be able to find our way out again.
I’m thankful Carol has felt the urge to arrange such reunions, even though I’ve fought so hard to avoid them. I’d like to see these guys again. Carol and I share the same birthday and we made vague plans to get together next year to celebrate together, all of us. I hope we do. I was surprised how easy it was to be with them all again. I always consider myself the outsider, but they made me feel at home, just the way they did back in high school. They felt like family…..the good family. I needed them desperately back then. Not so much now, but it still felt great to be around them anyway. I’ve so much to thank them for, and they probably don’t even realize it. And they wouldn’t care. And that’s what is so great about them. Then and now.