Saturday, September 11, 2010

Old Friends, New Memories

I had dinner last week with several friends that I had not seen since high school. Years have passed since we all walked the halls of Dale County High School. When we saw each other last week, many looked very much the same; there was a little more gray and a lot more wrinkles. (I can cover up my gray, but darn it, I just can't cover up those wrinkles.)

Life has happened through the years since we wandered those hallways. There have been great joys with children and even grandchildren. Careers have flourished, and accomplishments have been made. But there has been great sadness. We have lost some of our class members. Others have lost parents, spouses, and even children. Many of us have been affected by the epidemic of divorce. Jobs have been lost and relationships destroyed.

I think what makes the friends of your adolescence so special is that those relationships take you back to a time in life that was carefree. Life was simple, and it was good.

There are so many fond memories when you revisit that time in your mind. For those of you who call Dale County High School your alma mater, take a minute and walk down memory lane with me.

Remember the traditions.
There was that stupid "blue dot"? Sorry if it is sacrilegious for me to call it stupid, but I never understood that thing. I have to wonder if there ever was a meaning to it. If so, it had to have been the best kept secret around.

Remember the teachers.
Aimee Parrish. "You know what this is?" he would say as he rubbed his thumb and pointer finger together. "It is the world's smallest record player, and it's playing "My Heart Bleeds for You"!

Monroe D. Neal, Jr., the Third. Every week he would tell us to have a good weekend and "Please attend the church of your choice!" He started most every day discussing personal hygiene with us.

Mr. Faust. We all spent the first three years of high school dreading the day we had to take him. He had the reputation of being the hardest teacher in the school. He retired with our graduating class of 1986. We always liked to brag and say that he just couldn't handle teaching anymore after dealing with us. The truth is, we were all intimidated by him. We never said a word in his class.

Oh, those were good times with good friends. I was telling someone that the really great thing about your friends from high school is that you can go twenty years without seeing them, and when you finally get together, it feels completely natural. You just pick right back up where you left off. You just have a couple of decades on which to catch up.

I am so thankful that I have been able to reconnect with these friends of my youth. The first twenty years of my life after high school were the best of times. This year has been the worst of times. But in the midst of the grief and heartache, so many of these friends have reached out to me and offered me words of hope and comfort. Many have simply said, "I am so sorry." Sometimes that is the only thing that can be or needs to be said.

There are two points to this blog:

First, to all of those friends, thank you. You have shared this unplanned journey with me and helped make it a little easier.

Secondly, if you have old friends from your past that were a special part of your life at one time, look them up. They will help you reconnect with parts of your personality that have been lost along the way.

Proverbs 27:9 (New Living Translation)
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

Me and my sweet friends, Tracey, Melanie and Felecia

1 comment:

  1. I came to Facebook screaming and kicking. "I don't have time!" I would say. After Daddy died, I was so awestruck by how many friends he had and it made me want to reach out to my friends. He would be happy that I was doing that. Reconnecting with old friends has helped me find part of myself that I forgot about. Sure wish I could have been at the reunion! Mr. Parrish was one of my favorites. If someone said "OMG" he would say "You better call on someone who knows you!" I know he's proud of you, Math teacher!