My high school 40th reunion is going to take place in well, three weeks from Friday! It seems impossible that so much time has passed. I really have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that so much time has passed, and while the people I graduated with have changed, at the fundamental level, very little has changed.
We were – we ARE – a unique class. Our school was an experiment in interracial/intercultural relationships that went against the grain and actually – against the odds – worked! I mean, we were the experiment that really worked!
So as we prepare for our reunion it’s only natural that one of the questions we ask is who is still together? You know what I mean. Which of the high school classmates who were Sweethearts forty years ago are still sweethearts? Do we even remember our high school sweethearts? Are we still in touch with them?
The answer to that is as varied as could possibly be when over eleven hundred students are involved, so I can only speak for myself.
Forty one years ago, I met a girl, and I fell deeply, madly, completely in love with her. I asked her to marry me. We vowed we would love each other forever.
It lasted about 4 years. I bored her.
I understand – I’m a kind of boring guy, but when it ended, it still broke my heart.
I think that’s the tale most of us of the class of 71 would tell. When I did eventually marry, it was not to the auburn haired beauty who so captivated my heart all those years ago, although it is probably safe to say I never really got over her. You don’t, they say. Get over your first love, that is, and I suppose I’m no exception. My high school sweetheart was my first true love, and for a lot of years I guess I never got over her.
But then a funny thing happened on the way to old age. I met someone quite by accident, in the last sort of place where one might expect to meet someone, and frankly, after I had decided that I would be content to grow old alone.
That was eight years ago. In October, we’ll be married seven years, and when I go to my reunion, the sweetheart I introduce to my friends from forty years past, is not the sweetheart they knew.
In her place they will meet the woman who filled the empty place in my life. It took me over thirty years to find her, and admittedly I didn’t find her until I stopped looking. But, she is worth the wait.