I recently attended by 50th high school reunion in my childhood hometown of Farmerville, Louisiana---aka Mayberry. Driving around the town with my cousin, I quickly noticed many changes. The final huge blow was driving up to my childhood home and seeing the sad truth of how overgrown it has become. Though it still is a nice house, the owners have moved and it sits vacant. All things untended will return to their original state--implosion. The once carefully tended grounds have become so overgrown you can no longer see the pond where the sheep once grazed. I almost cried.
We went by the James Lot in the cemetery and visited Daddy. I certainly cannot revisit that past, except in sweet memories.
And then I spent two days with my former classmates. For a brief second of time, I did go back. I slipped seamlessly into my life 50 years ago. Back to those days when life was simple--small town life at its best. The amazing thing I discovered ---age becomes the great equalizer. With the exception of two, everyone is retired. With the exception of two raising grandchildren, everyone has an empty nest. There are no more comparisons--we are all on an equal playing field--- and the goal at this point is trying to finish well.
Of the more than 70 who graduated together 14 are gone. We paused to remember them and the places they held in our lives.
Of those remaining, more than 50% attended the reunion. The beauty of growing up in a small town with a small school--we ALL knew one another extremely well. The wonderful reality---after all these years--we still love one another as only a family can---for you see, this is my high school family.
No--you cannot relive the past---but you can revisit those memories with the friends who helped you make them. No one else will understand--no one else really cares--but those who were there---those who lived that past with you---
They can go back with you
and celebrate what was.
Those who knew you --way back when--can reconnect with you and be thankful. This past weekend--I was abundantly thankful.