Saturday, September 22, 2007

Intimations of Mortality

It’s my class reunion—40 years since we graduated from high school and 52 years after most of us started first grade together. Amazingly we are mostly intact—as far as we know we have only lost three class members, including those who went to school with us for a few years but did not necessarily graduate with us. And we were of the Vietnam generation.

We are older, grayer, and differently shaped. Some of us have battled cancer and won. Some are still fighting. Three have lost spouses recently. We have all sorts of different careers, some unexpected, others exactly what everyone expected. Case in point: the boy we all thought would be a rocket scientist—the epitome of the science geek (didn’t have that word then) in the ‘60s, slide rule and all—is indeed a scientist working on alternative energy sources and missile systems. I became an English teacher, to the surprise of no one. On the other hand, the student we all figured was headed for a criminal career seems to be a productive and pleasant and conforming member of society. Some of us have retired already; some, like me, are almost there and looking for information on how to handle the life changes that another stage of life will bring. Many of us chose to become educators, probably because our own small town public school experiences were close to idyllic.

Our elementary and junior high principal, junior high football coach, and driver’s education instructor (small town—that’s ONE person) and two of our class sponsors were also there, as well as one of our 4th grade teachers.

And—we are no better at getting everyone to behave for a class picture than we were at age 6 or 16.

Tonight we will have a final cookout and go our separate ways, knowing that we have reached the stage of life that will bring many changes before the next time we’re together.

1 comment:

Artis-Anne said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog & I agre our lttle Emily is precious:)

It is amazing isn't it when we look back at how we started and where we are now. I too am from a small village and after moving away for years I came back home 10years ago and it so interesting to see how life has treated us all. Maybe its just as well we don't know what is ahead of us :)
Hope you all enjoyed your cookout