Reuniting While Saying Goodbye

by POPSIE 1956

I wake today, and find myself in an odd state of mind.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my 40 year high school reunion is coming up in just a few weeks.

With well over 500 in the class, we know (as of this writing) of over 100, combined with spouses/significant others will be there, and we’re seeing a nice last minute rush of classmates deciding to join us.

I for one can’t wait for that weekend, many of these people I haven’t seen since graduation, and there’s a lot to catch up on.

On the flip side, tonight after work, I will attend the wake of a classmate who passed a few days ago.

Only a select few knew he was ill, because that’s how he wanted it to be.

There had been discussion to try to get this guy to attend the reunion, but nothing ever got firmed up.

It could be he didn’t want his classmates to see him as he was;

It could be he didn’t want the gushing and sympathy thrown upon him.

It could be a lot of things, but what it is, is sadness that whatever plans may have been in place will now never be.

How one chooses to live their life, especially in their last days, is a private matter, and if he didn’t feel comfortable being among us, or chatting with us, that’s his choice, we respect it.

His passing, however, puts a new perspective on the reunion.

One classmate, moved by a potential willingness to get this guy there, decided to change his mind and come, and that earned my respect.

To paraphrase, “If he could, under the circumstances, so could I.”

After 40 years, as much as many of us deny it, the group coming to this reunion won’t be the same should we have another.

In part because they won’t find the time, they won’t find the interest, or they themselves have left us.

So when I do make the pitch (I’m one of the organizers), I purposely say “This might be the last one.”

Not being fatalistic, just realistic.

Out of the class of 500 plus, well over 30 of our classmates have left us.

That number includes my former brother in law, one of my best friends.

So I head to the wake tonight, knowing I will meet a few classmates at the funeral home, again, some for the first time in 40 years.

Far from the best of conditions, needless to say.

We salute a friend tonight, and will salute each other again in a few weeks.

If you’re one of my classmates, and you’re reading this, that’s why I want you there, that’s why I want you to help find others, and that’s why we need to tear the roof off this sucker come June 28th.

I’m guessing Mark will be really pissed off if we don’t.