Friday, February 19, 2010

Tribute to My Classmates

"I want to be friends with the popular kids," I told my Dad one day when I was in junior high school.

"Observe how they are, and try to be like them," he suggested.

I didn't say anything more, but inside my head I thought, "You would 'kill me' if I smoked and drank, and necked and cussed, like they do!" I thought he just didn't realize that times had changed.

Not until years later did I realize what my Dad was probably thinking. The "popular" kids smiled a lot and laughed a lot. But, most of all, they showed a genuine interest in others. I'll bet that was what he hoped I might learn. Dad could talk to anyone, but I hadn't yet picked that up from him. I was most comfortable with a pen in my hand.

When I got to high school - with redistricting meaning a whole new set of kids - I found that the "popular kids" were more into getting good grades than they had seemed to be at my junior high. I could relate with that, but I still didn't feel I knew how to "make the grade" socially.

Little did I realize how my social abilities may have been affected by being totally deaf in one ear; not being able to remember faces easily; and not being good at remembering little details (whose dog is sick?). Those things haunt my socializing to this day, although I've learned to adapt a little better. someone who had been abused by an older boy when I was very young, I thought it was practically a sin for a boy and girl to hold hands. I didn't look down on those classmates whose lifestyle may have differed from mine. I did worry about them and how things might turn out in their lives (and then I was the one who went off the deep end into a cult).

At the same time I was worrying about some of my classmates, I admired those same people immensely for all their good qualities. I loved them very much, but usually from afar.

Now, I don't remember many of my former classmates (which face goes with which name?)...and many of them don't remember me, either. But when I hear a name, I usually have a positive sign in my head to go with the name, even if I can't remember many details.

Nine years ago, I was cordially invited and warmly welcomed to my high school reunion. It was one of the high points of the last decade.

Then, a year or two ago, a dear friend of mine who is 17 years younger than I am urged me to join Facebook - so that I could reconnect with high school friends. Really? I only really had a few friends when I was in high school that I really did anything with, and I have email addresses for most of them. But I decided to try it.

I'm so glad I did! What I see, as I watch their posts and comments, is lots and lots of love. I see the love for their families. I see many long-lasting marriages and life-time friendships. I see love for their classmates and their classmates' families.

My classmates and I come from the sixties. We may have been confused at times. We may have done a lot of crazy stuff in our lives. But one thing we have in spades is love for one another, and after all, love trumps all.


Elizabeth said...

How wonderful. My husband (not a great socializer) has joined facebook and has discovered that many people have fond memories of knowing him. It feels nice, I know. I am holing off because I already spend too much time reading blogs...if I got on Facebook, my kids might NEVER get an education...except in how NOT to use time wisely ;)
Blessings, E

Margaret Mary Myers said...

Thank you, Elizabeth.

And I understand your reason not to join Facebook. I use my "de-stressing time" for it, but then I don't spend as much time on blogging as I used to.

Molly said...

This isn't a comment about your post per se, so you don't need to publish it. I just wanted to invite you to "Kids say the darndest things Friday" blog hop at:
We’d love to have you join the fun and share your stories. I’m sure that you have some real gems!
In Christ,

Cerys said...