They say that nothing tells you that you’re getting old like watching your children grow up. In the last few weeks, something else has brought the passage of time home to me. It’s the class picture that I took in my last year of high school.
This is a photo that I would only look at periodically – perhaps when I was searching the album for something or someone in particular to show the kids, or when I felt like taking a stroll down memory lane or when I wanted to get a good laugh out of how thick the lenses in my glasses used to be.
It’s been more than a couple of years since we stood or stooped (depending on our heights), and tried to smile for the camera. When I look at the photo, it’s clear that although some of us could have made good use of the information, we weren’t told that the photographer was coming that day.
I remember all of the faces, but not all of the names. For that, I’d need to call certain former classmates who were notorious for remembering not only names and faces, but dates as well. Some of the people in the picture have long since moved away and some might as well have, since I can’t tell when last I saw them.
I vaguely remember there being talk about having a reunion but nobody’s heart ever really seemed to be in it, so catching up on Facebook is probably the closest we’re going to get. Which is where my class picture has been circulating – twice, in the last few weeks because two classmates recently passed away.
About twelve years ago, one classmate died unexpectedly. We probably really hadn’t begun to think about death in that context yet – as in ‘being the-one-in-the-box’ context – so it was quite a shock for most of us when she passed. It also seemed like such an anomaly. But two persons from our group passing within the space of two months? I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us are starting to get a little worried.
I didn’t attend the funeral of the first classmate who lived abroad but who was brought back home to be buried. I attended the second funeral, where we cobbled together a small choir for the occasion. A former “head girl” read the eulogy and her deputy played for us to sing.
It was nice seeing everybody again but I hope our next meet up will be under much happier circumstances. Unfortunately though, as someone said, given our ages these are the types of reunions we can begin to expect. So even though nobody said it, I know what we were all thinking .
Three down – twenty-one to go.