Sunday, May 5, 2013
My Homecoming Trip - part 3
If you have read my previous posts, you know I was about to set off to my high school reunion. The upcoming event had been looming on the calendar for months and with each new day that brought me closer to it, my excitement grew.
My enthusiasm for class reunions and everything that comes with it is at the same level as it was when I first attended it. I still consider it a display of pride for our school. It is three days of reconnecting with my fellow students, mentors and to my Sagay roots. I am surrounded by a sea of familiar and not-so-familiar-faces-anymore, and even as a repeat attendee, I was definitely awestruck by the whole ordeal. Just the number of people itself is enough to overwhelm and excite me.
The school's quadrangle was surrounded with booths, each one with banners announcing the year the batch graduated. Our class don a light purple shirt that me and Ann had donated and designed, others had green, blue, red, orange, white and many more which gave the venue a burst of color. We wore a blazing orange the nextday that our classmte Ginnie had provided us with.
I believe our graduating class was special since most of us had known each other from elementary school. So you are right to think that in many ways, it was a reunion like no other. I came, I satisfied my curiosity about old friends and classmates. I hugged each one of them, I laughed with them, and oh how I tried to squeeze the happenings of the last 35 years into brief snippets of conversation before I would rocket on to the next group of long lost pals. By the end of the day, my voice got worst but I still managed to give a long howl to cheer our classmate who competed in the beauty contest.
In our first reunion, I was certain we will live forever. On our 35th I know we won't. Conversations does normally drift to those classmates who have died or dying. Even classmates who are most likely to succeed have lost something – hair, a waistline, a marriage, a job, a spouse, a child, a fortune. Others on the other hand gained something – 50 pounds, a son or daughter-in-law, an illness, an ego. These things actually made me humble and wadya know, most people are nice at 50 than they were at 15. One comment I heard later was that people who hadn't really spoken to one another in high school had ended up in some great conversations. How often does that happen anymore? I just wished we have included a candle-lighting ceremony for more than a dozen classmates who had passed away.
In the company of my friends and classmates, it seems that time slows down and recedes. I felt like a teenager again, laughing and talking till evening unmindful of the summer heat. Except for one, all of my best friends in high school were there hence, that made this home coming very special. Because despite the miles between us, or the time that elapses between visits, these are the people who knew me almost as well as I know myself. Their gift of friendship and laughter never fails to lighten my soul. I don’t need an old house to remind me what “home” means to me, I find it in my friends- most especially in Ann, Nancy, Zenette, Ping, & Ruby.
I am proud to say that our class now has a fantastic Facebook page, which I created. Ahem, ahem. And we are still connecting, posting pictures and sharing – not just memories of the past, but who we are today.
Part 4: The family.