Last weekend I traveled to the opposite corner of Ohio to join classmates at a reunion to celebrate our graduation 40 years ago. Since our class has not gathered since our 25th, many thanks to the group who pulled us together in a matter of weeks on a weekend associated with the high school homecoming.
- Sharon (who was alphabetically next to me in many classes)
- Jeff (who sank the winning shot in a legendary game, and enjoys DWTS)
- Eric (my longtime friend with whom I’ve remained in contact)
- My faithful band of good friends who started in first grade together and remained cohesive through graduation (some who I saw a year ago at the visitation for my father)
- Kathy and Mary (two wonderful ladies who came into my life when our schools consolidated,
- Dave (simply a great person that I admire and miss)
- And others as Jon, Roger, Sherry, Anita, Mick, Peggy, Ron, Rich, Jennifer, Tom, Judy, Brenda, Larry, Kaye, Donna, and whomever I have left out, including those from other classes
Several times during the day, I thought about those I would not see because their life was shorter than mine. From an auto accident within a year after graduation, to mid-life suicide and those who fought cancer, losing 12 out of 187 is not a bad percentage for 40 years.
Nobody mentioned her, but I thought of Effie, my first classmate to die (third grade). I’m not sure if it was leukemia, lupus, or whatever, but I can remember her short black hair and smile – and even attending a party at her house just above the old school.
Of all the life forms in this world, we humans are the most social and the ones who interact with more of the same species than any other organism. I wonder how many people I have met in my life – even if for a short time – the number must be staggering, yet only a fraction of the percent of people on the planet. However, all those interactions shape us in some way. No matter how short or long the relationship, these interactions are part of the dominoes in our life.
I tell my nieces and nephews that the most important decision is life is who you choose to be around. My life has been a blessing, not only for because of my family and hometown classmates, but those that I’ve through work, church, college, travel, and countless life encounters – including today’s electronic world as blogs.
Yes, I wonder why some of the locals did not have the time to greet those of us who came greater distances but I imagine a few had other obligations. Nonetheless, I am glad I went and ever so thankful for all the dominoes in my life – even the small one from who did not make it with us to fourth grade.
Thanks to Brenda for a pic.