Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reflecting ----- Again!

So I'm looking at myself and wondering "Why do I still write this blog?" - honestly, how much can one say about an elementary school - about one's life when they were a preteen?

It is fun but it is like thereapy I guess - I loved that time (growing up) - I loved my teens - I love my current life - yes, I have fitfully progressed! There have been sad times but I never tried to dwell on those, yet life can be cruel sometimes - like when my dad became ill suddenly. He loved to golf - he never had much time to do it but he loved it. When I was a teen I was embarrassed to be with my folks - they didn't understand me, etc - it's not true of course, its just what I was thinking as a teen in search of myself. Embarrassed about my parents(!) - can you imagine!!?? How terrible and how incredibly patient were my parents to let me ride it all out. I would be crushed if my kids thought that about me!

Well when I finally broke out of those teen years - I saw the light. I was in retail before changing careers and I thought, "Gee, Dad is retiring, how cool would it be to meet up for lunch every 2 weeks or so and golf together once in a while" - to laugh about our lives together - to say sorry without saying it but showing my dad this was the real me - to hoist a drink together. Then he got sick - it was devestating.

Maybe this (the blog) is a way for me to revisit a time when my folks were around and I was psyched about it - not embarrassed - who knows.

Am I really becoming this deep - me of all people!? Most times in my life have been incredible - truly. My own family - having children, wow! There have been the tough moments to - losing my folks obviously - a friend who lost a young child to a freak accident - worst wake I have ever been too (love you Sally) - losing uncles and aunts, some whose lives were cut too short - Carl Vrabel's dad (it took me a while to get over that) - Jan Potdevin's mom - Jim O'Brien - how did I never say anything to you about losing your dad so young? There have been difficult moments for others and some I won't share here but I have thought of you - but yes during all these bad moments I felt terrible - in fact that's why for me I DID feel so selfish about Jan Potdevin showing up unexpectedly at our Glen reunion - what an unexpected special moment - the best kind - I know she didn't want to do it - but she did it - all by herself - an hours drive not knowing what to expect - I understood but how happy I was when Terri said "Guess who's here!" - I didn't even get to say thanks and goodbye to Jan that night....Gayle Allard - man, some of these people didn't know me well - but I knew them - and seeing them every day, being around them - something I will always remember. 

I would write this blog even if I thought people wouldn't read it - but knowing that people you've grown up with might read something you wrote - is both liberating and somewhat nerve-racking - they might see an honest and sometimes heart-on-your-sleeve expression of yourself. I can't imagine doing this in any other format - blogging gives you license and allows you to be yourself - as Annie once said a year ago or so "You're like the confessor" - I swear I don't get lost in this stuff - but I truly am who I am as a result of so many things not the least of which was attending Glen School.

I also struggle at times that I still haven't reconciled Artie's death - it is truly the most inexplicable thing to me. How can you go from such a high to such a low so quickly? Yes - it is selfish of me. My reconnecting with him and losing him just as quickly - was crazy. How can you not see someone for so many years and feel like this is family that has passed away(?) - how is it possible that losing someone like Artie can effect you in such a way? Artie's family had scattered mementoes of Artie's life in the rooms where his wake was held and had asked us to feel free to take one in his memory - I so regret not taking one of Artie's mementoes - you feel funny at the time but.........

In 1993, when Artie grabbed the mike at our 20th high school reunion and asked all the Glen School students present to gather for a picture (there were 14 of us there) - we did it automatically and we thought wow, yeah this is cool. You know, you graduated high school with so many people - but the kids you went to elementary school with - it's different, its more intimate and here was someone else being the first one to express that (you wouldn't do it for fear of seeming corny). About gathering for the picture, it was so much better (at the reunion) than trying to make fake talk with people about what you're doing, where you're going, where you vacation, etc (all the things that make reunions such a drag). I honestly didn't know what to expect at that particular reunion - almost didn't go to it in fact - I didn't want it to be "this is what I'm doing, what are YOU doing" - I wanted it to be special - and it was. Karen's hug was perfect....perfect (don't laugh) - it made my evening, it convinced me that this was a reunion I couldn't miss - she was the very first person I really saw from the Class of '73 and it was the best. Is it why I hung out almost exclusively with Cara Worthington (whom I was crushed for that night - her husband had just passed away) and Karen Eide that night - I felt so comfortable with them - don't get me wrong - it was incredible seeing everyone I graduated with - then you leave and continue with your life but it was nice ya know? It's a bond - Artie couldn't explain it and neither can I and therein lies the beauty of it. My wife Caryn had come with me in 1993 - she understood and was so accomodating to me - thanks......

Fast forward to the 2009 Glen School reunion - when Artie signed on early as a blog reader and as a booster for all this stuff, complete with his utterly unreadable text messages(!) - I was psyched! Wow - here was a guy I loved growing up - he never knew it though - but here he was signing on to what I was envisioning because he felt the same way - hell he always felt the same way. "A Glen School reunion Artie, but at the school!" "Yes!" he would say - "We can make that happen!!"

When I read about Margaret Silvers' and Doug Terhune's successful attempts at gathering their old Glen classmates AND Mr. McFall - I was hooked - that was also in 1993!

Maryanne Vaz told me recently - you were so quiet in school - indeed I was, painfully so sometimes - it's tough when you're trying to fit in - its so difficult when you're younger and I was in some cases almost 9 months younger than my classmates. But here we are - at this age writing so fondly about one's time growing up - and I demanded that Maryanne come to the reunion (You just have to come!) and she did (all thanks to Rusty Wescott) - how cool is that - Maryanne Vaz - who would have thought it possible to find her - thanks John! No apologies - I got probably more out of it than anyone.

Just want to say thanks to all who understand and who share this special affection for one's class.......looking forward to the BF reunion and absolutely can't wait for the RHS 40th reunion.

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