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Feelings flood high school reunions

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POSTED: July 22, 2011 7:30 a.m.

A reunion is defined as a reuniting of people after separation. There are family reunions, class reunions, military reunions, college reunions, high school reunions and other kinds of reunions.
I believe high school reunions are where classmates share their most passionate, suspenseful moments. Here is where all precious memories are brought out, laughed about, teased and then ended with a bear hug and a passionate embrace that lasts until the next reunion.
In reminiscing, at a typical reunion there are tables that have been set up in a reception room at some prominent location in town decorated for the event, a dance floor and probably an orchestra. Or the event may be held in the old school. There are all sorts of food and beverages. A special table has been provided, of course, for those classmates who brought their favorite alcoholic beverage.
I remember attending my class reunion where that table was never approached throughout the entire event, because everyone was too busy greeting each other, dancing, rejoicing and recalling memories of those bygone years.
The classmates arrive from throughout the country, stepping out of their careers into those memorable moments of the past. They arrive at a place that is waiting for them to share the moment when they will be standing before the classmate that meant the most to them.
Not knowing what to expect, questions flash before them. Will they be identified, or will they identify that classmate? Then out of the clear blue, one steps up with a big smile, a hand shake, a bear hug, or a passionate embrace and a kiss.
There are bursts of laughter recalling events at senior proms, football games and dances held afterwards, memories of popular football stars, the coach, teachers and on and on. Their past returns quickly as if they were yet waiting for the next class or some exiting event or preparing for commencements.
Surprises are everywhere. There are the classmates whom were expected to be the most successful in life. And also, there are the classmates from whom nothing was expected and yet were the most successful in life.
Last month, I attended my wife’s class reunion. When we entered the room, immediately my wife joined her classmates she hadn’t seen since graduation. Not knowing anyone, I wandered around the noisy, crowded room that was vibrating with laughter and expressions of warmth and joy.
Not only are there emotional feelings and glad tidings at these reunions, there can be feelings of sorrow and sadness. Strangely enough, I had these strange feelings of sorrow and sadness in spite of being a stranger at this class reunion. I noticed a plaque that hung on the wall. It was a plaque with photographs of 13 classmates. In an earnest gaze, they were such fine looking boys and girls. Why weren’t they present at this reunion?  Perhaps they were, but only in spirit.
Looking around the room, at all the tables with different kinds of food and beverages, and sure enough, there was the special table set up exclusively for those ardent spirits. At that moment, I was compelled to visit the table. Mixing my drink, continuing to look around the room, I was the only one at the table. I felt like putting my drink down and joining in all the warmth and glad tidings, even if I did not know any of them.
From my point of view, regardless of the kind of reunions we may attend, whether in Richmond Hill or elsewhere, those precious memories come alive at our high school reunions.

Bond lives in Richmond Hill and can be reached at fsb007@aol.com.

 

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