Last week, I went to the town where I grew up and had lunch with a group of women. I had gone to high school with these women and a few of them had gone all through school together. Some of the women had stayed in the town and raised their children there and most of us had moved away.
In high school, we all knew each other but we were not necessarily friends. There were some that you wanted to be friends with, some that you knew better than others, and some that you didn't necessarily want to be friends with. It is the high school way. It is a rough time but somehow you make it through and move on.
How did we all manage to end up at a table together for lunch so many years later?
I know is it because one of the women orchestrated it but I think it is bigger than that. I think that after so many years, we could all get together because we have all been bruised by life. Life's bumps and bruises are great levelers. Some had marriages that didn't work out as planned, some have illnesses that have affected their life, some have children whose lives were not as smooth as one wished, and some are taking care of aging parents. Instead of being perhaps as judgmental as we would have been back in our school days, we are more empathetic. Our experiences out in the world have opened our minds and hearts to the people we grew up with and have allowed us to see them as real people - not as we saw them before.
Now there are those that feel that the people in my hometown can be snobby. Yes, that is possible but I think that with this group, there was a warm feeling of seeing those you had not seen for a long time. We wanted to know each others stories and find out where we are now. There was laughter and a bit of reminiscence but it was the stories of who we are today that were the most compelling. It was the realization that we could all use the support of the group in our lives, whether it be for the moment or on a regular basis.
When you are dealing with a chronic disease like diabetes, either as a patient or a parent or a spouse, the support of others can make the load seem light. I think it is important to get out and see people - keeping your spirits up makes your day a bit brighter and makes it easier to deal with the obstacles when they come along..
Have you ever gone back and met with people you went to high school with? How did you find it?
Thanks for reading!
Anyone who is going through a rough patch or a long stretch, it is important to leave our homes (where the roughness often lives) & be with people. We often leave the person's company feeling able to stand a bit taller & go on a bit longer. And if we are the care-giver, it's helpful for our sanity to have a break from constantly looking after others.
As for seeing people from high school, unfortunately my school no longer exists. But I made excellent friends while I was there, and the school itself was superb. It was a small school - only 33 girls in my graduating class. Even though it was a Catholic school, we had people from various ethnic & religious backgrounds: Jewish, different Protestant denominations, Sikh, Muslim, Orthodox Catholic, Roman Catholic. The school & my friends were my first introduction beyond a provincial world-view. Most of my friends & I moved away for university, & I was not well enough to go to my 20 year reunion (2008).
Thanks for the lovely post -
"Provincial world-view" is not what I wanted to say. I meant that the way I was raised in my church, the choice of cutting my hair (my friend Gunita-who was Sikh-could not cut her hair. Only a slight trim. Her hair was almost passed her butt), the choice of eating whatever I wanted, & other issues - I thought ALL people could enjoy these in the same way. But food, religion, clothes, grades, sexuality, etc. were dependent on culture and other systems of beliefs & values.ReplyDelete
I loved this! I felt the same way when I returned to my 30th HS reunion, the playing field had been leveled, pain had touched us all. This October I will join two dear HS friends for our annual five day weekend which started when we all turned 60. I don't know if it would have worked much earlier but it is so lifegiving to us now.ReplyDelete