They have started arriving in the mail already, the graduation announcements. Young people all over will soon begin new ventures of education, enlightenment, and many eye-opening experiences.
And that was the case for me on this day, thirty-four years ago. Okay, I’ll give ya just a minute to figure out my age. 😉 It was graduation day in Tuttle, Oklahoma. In the warm gymnasium seated on old hard bleachers, our parents, family and friends cheered us on. Our small class that had been together, for me, since first grade, would now part ways. It was a bitter-sweet transition.This was part of our class in fifth grade. We were split into two classrooms. I wish I had a pic of the other group, too! (and yes, I can name each person! 😉 )Here are the Senior gals from Glee Club that sang the then popular song by Barbara Streisand, “Memories”, at our ceremony. My bestest friend, Julie is not in the photo because she was playing the piano. If you listen closely, you can hear her though ~(remember Polaroid cameras? yep…that’s this pic! and then my sis did a little writing on it~)
I think that “back in the day” it might have been more difficult to part ways with each other. It was more permanent. To stay in touch was to write letters or call long distance. We didn’t have cell phones, Facebook, e-mail, twitter, etc, to easily reach each other. There were many promises made of keeping in contact, but then life happens, and suddenly it’s been thirty years.
I was forced onto Facebook by my youngest son, just before our 30th class reunion. He was taking a trip abroad and deemed it possibly the only way of contacting us while away. At that time, I was only doing it for him. It was a kid’s thing, right? Little did I know, as I began receiving e-mails about our class reunion, that a large number of us would agree to fb. We began renewing friendships and catching up. Pretty awesome.
Even with this, I was still reluctant to drive from Missouri to Tuttle, Oklahoma, for our class reunion. I found old feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence stirred up again. I didn’t like that I was feeling like that little girl in the fifth grade picture above. Where was this coming from?
It turned out to be an interesting, but refreshing evening. Many people looked the same, some did not. But in visiting, one by one, you could read the heart of each pretty easily. We still had our common bonds. Our childhood; Tuttle America; The Star Pharmacy. Shortly after this photo was taken, we lost Mark Hogland in a tragic accident. (far right) I will forever treasure our time spent together that night. When he spoke of his children, his eyes lit up, he loved them dearly. RIP Mark ~ You are forever in our hearts ♥
When you are not a “crowd” person, like me, a situation like this really makes you reach outside your comfort zone. It was well worth the reach and many of our relationships have grown since that day.
We all got together again a couple of years later, to celebrate turning the big fifty ~ What a great time we had ~ It’s kinda like having new friends, that just happen to know a bit about your growing up years. I guess some might just call that family?
Happy May 7th, Class of ’78 ! And if you haven’t yet accomplished all of your dreams….don’t stop trying now!