Depression, Mental Health

50th High School Reunion and Oh, What a Week It Has Been!

It has been a week of rest and recovery.  Lots and lots of sleep.  And lots of thinking.  And remembering.  And pride.  Lots of pride.  You see, at this time one week ago, I was attending my 50th high school reunion — something I had been looking forward to and dreading at the same time. The mighty Putnam County High School Blue Devils were together again, something that had not happened for many, many a year.

This reunion was very important for many reasons to me.  Of course, the first reason is that I’m still here to even attend my 50th reunion.  Long story, but seven years ago, I had a health scare.  Two dozen blood clots ended up in my lungs along with a saddleblock clot that was cutting off over 80% of the oxygen going to my lungs.  When the ambulance got me to the hospital, the doctors told my children that they were amazed I was still alive.  They said that I really shouldn’t be.  Living in a small town, they decided to transfer me to a larger city with a more specialized hospital.  The only problem was that they said it was extremely likely that I would not make it the forty miles to the hospital. But, off we went, and since I’m typing this, I evidently made it there.  After spending several days in ICU, I was transferred to a regular floor and spent another 10 days there before being released.  So, you see, I have to think of the fact that I almost didn’t make it to any reunions, much less my fiftieth.

Another reason that this reunion was so important was the amount of work that had gone into it.  As we started planning for it, there were many suggestions, but no one was really taking charge of doing the things that needed to be done.  Since I am not known for being overly patient, I somehow ended up taking over a lot of the tasks and before I knew it, I was pretty much in charge of the majority of the planning.  I had a wonderful group of three other gals who pitched it and took over many of the chores, thank goodness.  Thank you so much, Shirley, Linda, and Joyce.  But, for the past six weeks, it’s be constant work.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining.  Just stating facts.  Of course, as each task was completed, it brought forth a huge burst of pride. One more thing checked off.  Yippee!

The largest task was a class information booklet that I had decided would be great to do.  I sent out questionnaires to all classmates and began the reminding, begging, calling, and pleading to get them returned.  Finally, I had almost all of them and sent out a last call email and decided I would have to go with those I had had returned.  In actuality, it really was pretty complete, only about six or seven just wouldn’t or couldn’t return theirs.  Then came the task of putting the booklet together.  As I worked on it, I kept deciding to some something else, and then something else, and then another something else.  Finally, I had it the way I wanted it and off to the printers I went.  I was so proud of the booklet and when they printed a draft copy for me, I actually stood there in the store and cried.  I was beyond proud.  Forty-two pages of contact information, questions about some of our “favorite memories from school”, candid pictures that had been sent in by classmates, and a very special Dedication Page for one of our favorite elementary school teachers.  If I say so myself, it was a job well done, one of which I will always be proud. Upon handing them out at the reunion, I had every reason to have been proud. Everyone loved them. Betty had done good, as we say in the South.

The reunion itself was beyond marvelous.  One of our classmates and his wife acted as hosts for us in their beautiful antebellum home.  Thank you so much, Joe and Melody. The caterer outdid herself with some incredible food.  There was much laughter, many old stories told, and just all-around love for former classmates. Many classmates gathered around the Memorabilia table looking through old yearbooks and a fabulous poster that had prom tickets, the graduation program, signature cards, and other items that related to our lives back in the 60’s.  And of course, many of us had not seen other classmates since high school and it was so much fun to catch up on each other’s lives and to meet each other’s spouses.  It was such a wonderful night. A night I will always remember.

From a class of fifty-eight, eleven are no longer with us. And they were missed.  Each and every single one of them.  Two classmates were not interested in attending.  Six could not be found – anywhere – by anybody.  And one lived too far away to come.  Six had planned on attending, but due to illnesses or other circumstances were not able to attend.  But, to me, the most amazing thing about the class of fifty-eight classmates is that it was supposed to have been a class of fifty-nine classmates.  There was one person there who had not even actually graduated with the rest.  And it was ME. I had left after the eleventh grade and moved to Atlanta, so while I was there at the reunion, and had done a lot of the planning and work, I was not really a member of the Class of ’67.  And I was welcomed with open arms by all my former classmates.  One of the most special moments was that right after we had asked the blessing, one of my former classmates announced to all that he would like to offer me my own special honorary diploma for the Class of ’67 since I had not been there on Graduation night.  It was a grand night in oh, so many ways.

Putnam County Class of 1967


THOUGHTS ABOUT MY THOUGHTS: This was a post I was actually proud to post. It was a feel-good post.  Yippee for me!

TODAY’S FEELINGS BAROMETER:  I have found that this old dog can’t hang like she could in the past.  It has taken me an entire week to recover from too much partying.

~~~ Betty