My wife and I went to our high school reunion. I won’t say how many years since graduation. We Baby Boomers respect privacy.
This reunion was my first. I had excuses. I lived too far away. Or I was self-conscious about losing my hair. Then I started losing my eyesight, so I got self-conscious about that.
My wife has been to all of them. She didn’t make excuses. Our graduating class numbered 527. She was a Top Ten Girl and she’s still #1 in my book.
She guides me from person to person. Julie and Joel. Toni and Larry. Wow, the memories. Everyone talks about how different everybody looks, but to me the voices sound the same. I hear lots of, “Sorry to see you with that white cane, buddy.”
And I say lots of, “I’m OK. We all have breaks. Mine could be worse.”
Then our friend Susie takes the microphone. “I’ve got news,” she says. “Since our last reunion, two of our classmates have had their own little reunion. Here’s what I read at their wedding. In her sophomore yearbook, he wrote, ‘It was fun being your boyfriend for four and a half months (132 days). Any time you want to pay me the $3.73 you owe me is fine—I need to buy the new Kinks album. Do your parents still hate me? Anyway, it was fun being your boyfriend. Maybe we ought to try it again—like in 25 or 30 years.’”
Everybody oohs and aahhs and cheers. The spotlight hits us. I smile at the shadows. I see them as they were sophomore year. My wife takes my hand. I kiss her cheek. I see the face of that sixteen-year old girl, my girlfriend then and now. It all feels like home to me. I have more than I ever thought possible.