The other night, Paige (my BFFL) and I were reminiscing about the good old days, how old we are, and the creepy part? Who has died from our two classes. She graduated a year ahead of me, so I don’t remember some of the folks in her class – in fact, I don’t remember a lot of the folks in my own class, either!
I told her about a dream I had not too long ago that included this super sweet guy, Ken Carpenter. I remember Ken. He was a jock, he was good looking, above all else, he was cool. He was a sweetheart. Nice to everyone, smiling, laughing. He was just like that in my dream, too. I don’t know what he was doing there, but there he was – and I waved and greeted him like we were going to have coffee and catch up on years gone by.
I Googled him the next morning, and was so sad when I found out that he’s passed away. Hodgkin’s disease took him when he was just 29. I about cried, honestly. Obviously he didn’t change, as the community revered him so much they named a park after him in the little town I grew up in. I intend to take the girls to that park when we get back up there in June.
Paige and I talked about that, and a few others who are doing well – and more who had passed away. Seems cancer is the devil, and it’s snatching up more and more people than I realized.
By the way – did you know that you can request your annual mammograms to start any time? You don’t have to wait until your 45. I’ve been having them done since I was around 27, when my sister-in-law passed away from what started out as breast cancer, and ended up ravaging her entire body. It’s never too soon to start checking.
Well then I got to thinking about more people, people I lost touch with or just haven’t heard from in years. A couple of my best friends in high school drifted away, we kinda-sorta kept in touch but after I while I felt like I was more interested in maintaining a friendship than they were, so I took the hint and just stopped trying. Shalise, Jen, Erin, Tracy – they’ve all just disappeared.
This morning I woke up thinking about Shalise. She went off to college, met a guy, fell in love, got married and had a baby. That’s about when we lost touch, so I thought I’d give her a Google. (hah! It’s better than getting hung up on, right? WHO? Who is this? Leanne? Leanne who?) I found something REALLY recent, like she’s doing this RIGHT NOW and dang if she still doesn’t have the biggest heart ever, she’s joined the 2008 MS Walk on May 4th. So of course I dropped a donation into her virtual bucket, and I think it would be really so cool if you did, too. Kinda sorta to say “hey” for me, more to support the cause, and applaud her for still being a sweetie-head. I think she has the most compassionate family I’ve ever met.
Okay so while we were talking, I also had a movie flashback. It was Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats. She was the prom queen, yadda yadda and goes back to her home town and needs to get a job. She walks into an employment agency and a girl from high school runs the place, and finds it the perfect opportunity to tell her she doubt she can find an opening for a prom queen. Sandra admits that she has no idea how she treated this woman in high school, but she’s sure it couldn’t have been very nice since she’s hell-bent on putting her in her place. She asks if she could also put her in a job, too.
MAN I could totally relate to that. I don’t remember people, I don’t know how I treated people, and though I definitely wasn’t a prom queen, I sure do wonder sometimes if I was a real foot-in-mouth kinda gal back then, too.
I wonder, do you wonder? Do you find yourself surprised when you find out what someone’s doing now, what they look like? Do you attend your reunions? I haven’t, and don’t intend to… see above for my reasons. And just for fun, if you’re married and you want to show up in Google when someone’s lookin’ and they might not know your married name, add it to your blog somewhere. If you want to be found, that is.
Leanne Belrichard, Harry D. Jacobs Class of 1989