When I first started discussing attending my reunion, people made such comments about their high school friends. They reminisced about the cliques: mean girls; snotty guys; jocks; stoners; geeks; freaks; nerds; sluts. In their memories there always seemed to be a level of animosity between the groups. I can't honestly recall that. Sure, there were girls I never hung out with outside of school. There were boys who'd never give me the time of day to date. Yet, I didn't feel left out. At least my current recollection isn't as such. OK, I hated not having boys pine over me or openly want to date me.
I was not one of the popular girls, but due to my height, I was recognized. I was in the show choir and musicals. That often put me briefly in the limelight. I was a nice girl. Never an honor student, but a good student. I tried diligently to keep my grades up. I worked part-time. In my opinion I was an average kid with a less than average home life. I kept my situation private. .
When my mother died of cancer in June of 1981 everything around me collapsed. Nothing was as it seemed. At age 16, only my brother and I still lived at home with our father. Both men, like me, were lost in their grief. In turn, I was scrambling for some semblance of order and sense. I needed guidance. I moved out of my family home to live with my sister Mary and her family. Around Christmastime that same year it became apparent that I would benefit more from living with my sister Maureen. In one fell swoop my sisters became my mother figures. Only those who knew me were privy to the private goings on of my life. As I remember, my friends were protective, loving and nurturing. Their parents welcomed me with open arms. I found family outside of my own blood relations. Those friends could have been far less compassionate and steered me down a path of recklessness. Instead, they looked out for me. I am unsure if they were aware of their actions, but it certainly appeared to be that way to me then. And continues to feel that way today.
Escaping insanity by means of Celebration Singers (show choir) and musicals was my salvation. The friends I made then are still my friends today. For that reason, the 25 year class reunion has greater meaning than just catching up on the who's who, what's what of the graduating senior class of Eastridge High School 1983. Being with my classmates confirmed what we always suspected about ourselves. We represented the hope of tomorrow. We're the real deal.
Race, color, creed, economic status didn't limit us. Our friendships are what great movies are made of and books are written about. I had and have friends from all walks of life and I love it! I wouldn't have it any other way. Our reunion didn't remind us that we're all so different. It represented what makes us all so similar. We're all just human beings trying to make the most of the time we have on this planet.