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.

Also...as 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.

4 comments:

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...

Hi!
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:
http://mysticalrosedesign.blogspot.com/2010/03/post-signature_19.html
We’d love to have you join the fun and share your stories. I’m sure that you have some real gems!
In Christ,
Molly

Cerys said...

Gorgeous!