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Where Have You Been All My Life?

There's this awful pickup line that goes like this: "Where have you been all my life?" In a completely different context, say a 50 YEAR REUNION, it takes on a whole new meaning. The last time I saw ANY of these people was more than 50 years ago, 53 years to be precise. Individuals I spent every day with, from September through June, starting in Kindergarten at Salem School all the way to 9th grade at Carrie Palmer Weber Junior High, boys and girls I literally grew up with, played with, learned to read with, and count, and paint, and so much more...gone. For 53 years. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

Like Rip Van Winkel woken from a 50 year snooze, I find myself suddenly surrounded by all, some with new faces and all with new bodies, bigger, some wider, grayer, but somehow the same. Same souls, same personalities, same kids deep down inside, just older and wiser.

Men and women with marriages and divorces and kids and grandkids and careers, OMG careers! All those doctors and attorneys and researchers and professors and detectives and psychologists and activists and entrepreneurs, some retired after long careers, some STILL working because 1) they love what they do and 2) they are damn good at it.

So we broke bread, and we went on walking tours, and we shared wine and beer, and heartfelt conversations. We LISTENED to each other so intently to learn about the lives we could not share, separated by time and space, reconnecting... to somehow validate our time together so long ago, the lives, the people, the experiences that made us who we are today, in the waning days of our lives.

So...THANK YOU Martha, and Holly, and Carol, and Dale, and Fred, and Karl who pulled it off, and brought a little magic of the time machine into all of our lives for a few days. Thank you so much.

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