Geri-Antics: The Ramblings of a Crazy Old Broad

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

June is the month of beginnings.

Brides walk down the aisle to begin their married life with the man of their dreams and graduates march down aisles to their destinies.

One day, we wake up to find 10 years have passed, then 20, and those who are very fortunate are still around to celebrate a 50th anniversary of a wedding or graduation.

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since I attended my 10th high school reunion.

I’m sorry to say, that reunion was disappointing. It was as though I was Marty McFly, hopping into Doc Brown’s DeLorean from “Back to the Future.”

Merely walking through the portal transformed each adult back to 1968 and we were once again the person we’d been in high school. There were no assigned tables, but we each gravitated back to the cliques we’d been categorized into as kids.

At the entrance, we were asked to fill out name badges, using the names we’d gone by in school such as maiden names, nicknames, etc., but they weren’t necessary.

We’d already morphed back into the band geeks, the brainiacs or educationally-challenged kids, the kids from the right side of town and the kids from the wrong side of the tracks.

Regardless what we’d accomplished in our adult lives, we still wore the invisible labels from our high school years. Some who’d outgrown their labels chose not to attend while others who dared to climb into the time machine left early. I did the latter.

This summer, I am fortunate to be one of the lucky graduates who is still around for my upcoming 50th reunion.

Some of our schoolmates went to Vietnam to fight for our country. Some made it home, and others weren’t as fortunate, while some also came home forever changed. Illnesses and accidents have claimed the lives of other graduates of the Class of 1968 and social media has reunited many others as well.

I hope this time around, we’ve matured enough to focus on who we are inside, people who are good parents and grandparents, people who perform good deeds for others and for our communities.

Who we are isn’t a profession. I write. It’s what I do. My label is author.

Who I am is mom, nana, friend and neighbor. We are what we give to the world and to those we love.

The friends and classmates who will attend my 50th high school reunion have each lived more than 65 years. We are the ‘Baby Boomers.’

We’ve each had a myriad of experiences — many good, some bad and some painful. Every experience has taught us a lesson. It’s the lessons of life that have made us who we are.

If you’re invited to a reunion, whether it is a high school, college, military or a family reunion, don’t just look for the people you know and those with whom you have a history and are comfortable.

Seek out people you don’t remember having known in the past. Ask them about their memories. Ask them about their life. Get to know who they are and not what they do.

It’s never too late to make a new friend.

Anne Carmichael is a lifestyle columnist for The Jessamine