Class reunions! That celebration of how old we really are. Some dread this tradition of reconnecting with memories and people from the past. Others . . . love them. I, personally, fall somewhere in between. I do love being able to see friends outside of the confines of social media, whether it be at the grocery store, library, hitting the local bars to hear our favorite bands or even an informal get together at a restaurant every few months. I love hearing their voice and seeing their smiles first hand.
This night though was special. This night I, along with over 50 of my classmates, celebrated our 25th anniversary of surviving those angst filled years, Wheaton Central High School - class of ’88. Go Tiger Pride!
Though social media has made easier the connecting of friends from all over the world, being able to be in the same room with them is a treat I think many in our society have forgotten. The interpersonal relationships we had begun to form all those years ago as children, are now made stronger through events like these. People we only get to experience through photos and status updates, we now get to hug and together, laugh the night away. In some cases, childhood besties, separated by miles, brought back together for at least one night of fun. People that we may have been intimidated by during those years of puberty can now sit down and be better friends.
Three hundred and ninety two students were in my graduating class from WCHS. Sadly we have lost a few along the way, but most of us have gone on to live diverse lives all over the world. Together we have rejoiced in each others' triumphs and faced head on our struggles.
Many of us have families and now, along side recounting our teen tales of mischief, we share the exploits of our own children, from toddlers to college students to even grandchildren. All of us parents wondering how the heck did we get this old and how we now are sounding like our own parents.
At events like this we see through the sea of faces those individuals where friendships were tried but fell along the wayside for one reason or another. Through the mass of people we discover those that we never truly connected with all those years ago, but now, through shared life experiences, find a friendship kindled.
At class reunions we stop to remember that chapter of our lives we shared walking the halls of our high school. We share the many chapters life has given us over the following years. Now as we go back to our lives, go back to our families in the different corners of the world, we continue to write the current chapter of our lives. We leave this book mark securely in this part of our story, just as we have for the past twenty five years. We will pull it off the shelf and open up these memories from time to time. Hopefully the pain we experienced as teenagers will now have been replaced by all the positive memories of that time and we dwell on the friendships that have lasted for over a quarter century.
So to all my classmates, I lift a glass and honor the Wheaton Central High School Class of 1988.
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