There’s nothing like a high school reunion to remind a person the years have rolled by, full speed ahead!!
That’s what brought me to San Diego this past weekend and I’m so glad I went, but (and there’s always a “but”) high school reunions are real mirrors of life. The first reunion, unusally ten years following graduation, is fun, not much has happened and everyone looks good. At twenty years and thirty years, marriages have failed, the homecoming king and queen have lost their sparkle and recognizing old friends’ faces becomes a guessing game.
So this was my 45th reunion and if it wasn’t for the picture/name tags that thankfully were in large print, I would never have recognized some folks. Their voices were better identifiers than their faces!! And when it came to catching-up on life, many of my old friends had heard about Leroy’s battle with cancer. Some had read the blog or heard him on NPR. Some, infact, way too many had identified with our struggle because they too, had faced cancer with the same results.
I was astonished at how many cancer stories were revealed in conversations. Parents of my old classmates, spouses and even children had battled the beast. So many women from my class were breast cancer survivors. Some were actually in treatment and talked about their chemo and radiation issues.
Cancer really hit home when I noticed the photos on three big decorated boards with the words “In Memory Of:” An old friend and I looked at each picture and it seemed she would say “cancer” after so many of those who had died. Young, smart, beautiful high school pictures, with beginning and ending dates.
Reunions bring smiles and laughter for the most part, until the cancer stories make catching up hard to hear.