These are the girls that I attended high school with. There were 66 in our class, about 20 were at the cocktail party that was held in the school cafeteria. I don't think that I had been in that cafeteria since we graduated. The reunion was for all of the 5 year anniversary graduates - we were the 45th anniversary group. There are a lot more blonds among us now!
It's funny how when you first see someone you think oh my gosh they look different, and then as you get used to seeing each other you finally recognize them and after a few minutes they look exactly the same as you remember them. Many of these girls I had attended school with since kindergarten.
Last fall, when I thought I was dying, these girls blanketed me with cards and letters and prayers. I was able to wrap myself up in the comfort of their love, even though I had not seen most of them in more than 40 years. We remembered each other and held and supported each other on the bonds of our shared childhood memories. These are connections that will carry us through the mystery of our journey - together.
I really missed my friend Judy Medley (we sometimes called her "Deadly") who died a couple of years ago.
Judy and I hadn't seen each other much since graduation - I think the last time I saw her was at the 25th anniversary reunion, but every few years I would get a funny letter from her or we would talk on the phone and it was if we were still the closest of friends. She had a unique wit that could cut through the seriousness and darkness of life, and was probably one of the smartest non-bookish people I ever knew.
At least three women from the "older" graduating classes came up and told me that they used to babysit for me. I didn't remember them, but it felt really good to be remembered, after all these years. They also tell me, again and again, how wonderful my mother was, which is comforting since I never feel like I knew my mother well.
I happened upon my first cousin, Julie, who graduated 5 years before me (her 50th reunion) and she hugged me and hugged me.
These are Prudence, Ginny, me and Karen ("Corn Fields"). Prudence and I had great debates in 1960 during the Kennedy/Nixon presidential election. We were in 5th grade then. She went on to become an attorney and I think she's probably still a Republican! She was the valedictorian of our class.
Me, Donna and Prudence:
This is me and Patty Ann. Patty Ann was not in my class but was in the class with my sister. I told Patty Ann I would take a photo to send to my sister who is now a Peace Corps volunteer in Fiji. Patty Ann is the official alumni organizer for the school.
And this is the back door to the school, which still looks the same.