Some say you can’t go home again. I suppose that is true in the figurative sense but since all three of my kids live under my roof, I’m not sure it is meant to be a literal statement.
However, for some, figuratively speaking a Class Reunion can be an attempt to recapture the glory of those younger years: to get your foot back into the door of your 18-year-old life. But thankfully it just can’t happen, no matter how hard you try. And in truth, I’m glad.
During our 30-year reunion events, the Monroe Central Class of ’82 gathered together four times over the course of a month. Our Friday night activity provided the best opportunity to share about or journey through life over the past 30 years. It was interesting to hear the stories, share the laughs and see the tears that came as we told our stories. Each one represented a life that has been altered by time and tragedy, illness and illumination, hard work and pure luck. Over the weekend we heard stories about the loss of loved ones, marriage and divorce, disease and brokenness. We celebrated careers that have soared and commiserated those that have failed miserably. We enjoyed hearing about the successes and stood with those mourned the losses.
And in the context of these discussions, memories of high school days wove in and out of the conversations. We laughed about pranks. We bemoaned rough teachers. We shared secrets that can only be revealed 30 years later. But not once did anyone report that they’d prefer high school. No one in the room offered that this life we live today is inferior to those days spent wandering the school halls. Why would they? Why go back when there is so much ahead? Oh sure, we might have done things differently if given the chance. But to be 18 again? I think not.
On my way home from the last event of our month-of-fun, I stopped by Jerry’s Dairy Freezer to get a milkshake. Jerry’s has been standing in the same spot serving soft-serve greatness since 1966. In my mind it is a historic landmark. As I climbed back into my car and drove away, I thought about the fact that some things never change, like friendships and Jerry’s milkshakes. But other things change dramatically, like our journey through life and our family and friends. Most of all, the biggest change in my own life has been my heart, my mind, and the peace and knowledge that comes from life’s experience. And for that, I’m so very thankful.