A Senior’s High School Reunion

Jun 28th, 2010 | By | Category: For Senior Women

As SCJ’s Senior Moments blog said last week, this is the season of class reunions.  I happen to be one that is ‘celebrating’ 50 years of highschool graduation.  And I did struggle with whether I really wanted to attend or not.  In fact, I choose to NOT.   And I did have good ‘excuses’: we were to be out of town until 36 hours before I needed to depart for the reunion weekend.  This was my reasoning for initially deciding not to attend.  Then there was the travel expense.  Oh my, all the reasons not to attend  became an easy ‘out’ for me.

The weeks prior to the reunion, however, I began thinking about those years, 50 years ago.   We lived in a very small, rural midwest town.  And my high school graduating class was 29 students of which 17 were attending this reunion.

 High school was not an easy time for me and the difficulty came with my intense need and desire to please my father.  So I played basketball because he wanted me to.  I was tall and therefore ‘I would be a good basketball player’!  Those were the days of half court  girl’s basketball.  So I would stand as the ‘tall center’ in the forward court and pray that the ball wouldn’t come to our end.   I was neither athletic nor competitive…not a good combination for a center forward on a basketball team. 

I liked a young man,  a really fine and good young man who was a year older than I.  But my father didn’t approve of him.  I don’t remember that we ever dated, but I do remember sitting with him at school functions. 

I didn’t have a lot of friends.  I was not allowed to ‘cruise’ with my classmates.  I was not allowed to meet them at the town cafe after games. 

I began to realize that I really wanted to return to that environment of my youth.  I wanted to meet my former classmates, many of whom my father disapproved.   I am not the person that I was 50 years ago.  I don’t know how much my father has changed, but I do know that I have changed.

 I went back with an agenda.  It was a quiet, unassuming agenda and my goal was redemptive in nature.  I needed to meet each classmate that was there and visit with him or her, even if only for a few minutes.  I desired a good connection with each person, a genuine exchange and an opportunity to give of myself and receive from them. 

The weekend turned out to be good…very, very good.  The one friend I did have in high school was one of the speakers at our alumni banquet and she made a comment in her closing remarks that so beautifully summarized my ‘reunion’ weekend.  She stated that our class has ‘made peace with our past’.  I felt that she knew why I had come…I needed to make peace with my past.

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  1. Querida Jeannine,
    Loved to read about you…. I know about Marlene, Sharon, a little bit about Pat and almost nothing about you….only you´re married to a very nice man, have children, grandchildren…. and that you´re a fantastic person, loving wife, mom, grandma and sister. I´m here down in Brasil, but I have the best American sisters a person can have and it especially includes you. So happy to get in touch and know we have shared our pa and mom. I´ll never forget how well you treated me when I visited you in your “home” in 1974 and in 1985. Love you, your Brazilian sis, Sílvia. P.S. So great you went to your high school reunion and “made peace with your past”!

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