It wasn't a full-on reunion, but more a gathering of life-long friends. I have found that these reunions get better with age.
Monica came in from New Jersey to see her family that is still here in Illinois. Beth flew in from her scheduled trip to Germany - she's a flight attendant for a major airline.
The rest of us came in from all around the Chicagoland area, some from the far Northwest areas and me from the far Southwest areas.
We met at a fairly central location in Schaumburg, the Westwood Tavern. The staff at the tavern was helpful, gracious and sharp; very impressive.
Kim brought our class picture from kindergarten. Yup. Kindergarten.
Kim, Julie, Monica and I were all in 5th grade together, too.
Elvira and Renee also lived locally and went to the same elementary school with us, and we were all in the same grade throughout school.
Later in high school, Elvira and I shared the stage our senior year in The Pirates of Penzance.
Holly, Sharon and Beth all came along in either junior high and/or high school.
We are a group of 40 somethings that could not wait to see each other.
Some of us are moms; some are not.
Some of our kids are grown, some are still in elementary school.
Some of our spouses have retired; some hope to soon.
Some of us still have one or both of our parents; some of us have said goodbye to one or both of them.
Some of us retained our youthful figures; some of us (like me), not so much!
The best thing about this reunion is that none of that mattered. All that mattered was getting together with people that "knew us when."
In early reunions (like the 10th high school) there is tons of comparing going on...
... are you married yet?
... do you have kids yet?
... are you making good money?
... do you have a great job?
The list is endless and tiresome. It made my 10th reunion feel like a competition.
By the 20th reunion, we wanted to reconnect with people we'd lost touch with, and by the 25th, we just wanted to see if our friends were still alive.
A year from now, we will be celebrating our 30th high school reunion. Ouch.
I don't feel like I'm old enough for a 30th reunion, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.
I am grateful that there are wonderful women (and men) whose friendships I treasure, and I cannot wait to see them again.
There is something very special about sharing memories of the earliest years of our lives. There is a deep connection between us that cannot be broken.
We know each other's siblings; we knew each other's parents. We shared our lives when they were so much simpler, and we share our lives now - complicated, flawed and sometimes scary, as they can be. Facebook helps tremendously.
So, to Monica whose trip into town instigated this gathering, to Julie who reminded me about it after I didn't think I could attend, and to each of you wonderful, lovely ladies (and the other awesome guests) that attended, thank you. I was and am truly blessed to call you friends.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
How do you feel about reunions? Have you gone to any? What did you like or dislike about it?
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