But it doesn't change the fact that my blood still runs like a Bulldog's.
|Homecoming Court 1993|
|Headed to Nationals, baby!|
|Polariod taken during opening night. That look on my face? Acting. The dress? Sewn on.|
That's what I remember most about my high school: heart.
When I hear someone (from another school, obviously) speak with anathema of their classmates, it saddens me. They missed out on so much. I'm not saying heartbreak and humiliation didn't happen to me or others--we were teenagers, after all--but there is so much more to treasure from those years. And the hard stuff taught me things. It was a good place to grow up because I was lucky to grow up with nice people.
And that can make all the difference.
I graduated with about 103 others. In middle school, our class was twice that size, but closed factories, an oil bust and the economy caused a mass exodus. Maybe watching so many leave made us hold on to each other a little more.
We called ourselves The Class that Makes Traditions. Yeah, we had a motto. We knew we were special.
|10 year reunion. Can you find me?|
But, we had two people out at the office. Then, my daughter got sick. Then...
I went on Facebook to wish a classmate a belated birthday. After posting a cheery message on his board, I scrolled down.
My heart stopped. My throat burned. I didn't like the messages before mine. As I sent a text to two of the reunion organizers who were probably herding classmates toward a parade float, I prayed that Jimmie was there with them. That I'd misunderstood the messages.
Then I received messages from other classmates asking if I'd seen his wall and wondered the same as I. We watched Facebook. Eventually, someone posted that he'd been in an accident that morning and had not made it. I deleted my birthday wish and added a comment of condolences instead.
I went to school with nice people, and we lost another one. Jimmie's smile, and orneriness, and energy will forever be a part of my memories and my life. Thank you for that, Jimmie.
And thank you to my classmates for being such a fun and loving group through the years. Thank you for your heart.
|This photo was all over Facebook. I'll give photo credit when someone fesses up.|