Friday, March 14, 2014

Time.. The '72 Luncheon.. And opening those eyes...

Photos from google image
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Great insight and revelation take a lot of time. I'm sure the passing of time from four decades sounded astronomical to one Missouri teen in the early 1970's. She would never have given a thought to approaching sixty years old. She was far too sure of herself in those impossibly short skirts, the knee boots, and fishnet stockings. Swaying through a crowded corridor toward narrow beige lockers.. A special someone waiting at the corner of the stairs to walk with her to the next class... Football mums and long bus rides in the dark to cheer a team of Macon Tigers...


And then we wait. First comes love, and then comes marriage.. And then we find for some a baby carriage. And then, we wait some more. In movies the film cuts blur, etching the seasons, quick cuts of night and day, sunrises and red-rimmed twilights all passing in rapid, staccato flashes... In life, time passes differently.


For me at least time has been a series of startled awakenings to find myself suddenly older, often wiser but sometimes sadly not. To everything, turn turn, turn.  My baby disappeared into a wonderful young man who calls me Mom. And around me in town I wave at classmates and wonder why they look old! In the mirror, if I smile just right and flip my hair... She's still there, that girl from the lockers.

Today marked the fifth or sixth monthly luncheon for girls from Macon Class of 1972. We meet at a local restaurant for a couple of hours. For some of us, it's the first time to reconnect and spend any time at all with those we once knew so much better than we knew ourselves. I sat between my beloved college roommate and a darling girl who had torn us apart by moving away the summer after her junior year. She drove hundreds of miles to visit, to laugh. Also at the round table, my dear lifelong friend. The two of us started together in first grade in Excello school, a one-room remnant consolidated to Macon our eighth grade year. I laughed with my long time soul mate, a girl I have kept close contact with through all our births, Beth Moore studies, sadnesses, and joys. And the adventurous spirit gurgled forth from one who consistently pushes the wings of fate...zip lining, shopping in costume with her daughters.
And one more, my dear friend who had lived in a huge, fashionable home, who turned 60 yesterday ---whose son sent her 600 roses for that milestone birthday because he couldn't be with her from New York... 



And we laughed, good crazy laughter that twinkled and erased any nasty traces of age. We hugged. A couple of us cried because after all these years, some dear parents, siblings, and loved ones had gone on... But mainly as I looked around us, I loved seeing the smiles. Nice people all. Sometimes the conversation turned to darker truths.. Past marriages for a few, untimely illness and death in the family  for a couple more. Certainly a knowledgable look between us when we mentioned the immeasurable sadness of watching our own children through breakups of the heart. Boob reductions... A new engagement for one who had tragically lost her husband a decade ago to cancer.  "I want to be married barefoot." She sparkled... And it was all good.
Nobody felt the need to tell her that was unusual... Or to run off and be married barefoot ourselves. It sounded perfect...

I guess we came about as close to mutual respect, acknowledgement, and acceptance as any seven disparate alumni can feel. I admit I was a little timid to go. I told Mom I had made too many bad choices, had too much arthritis, didn't think I would fit in to their lifestyles... I had the idle wish to contract a little flu bug so I could skip the shyness and self condemnation I thought I'd feel... Your typical excuses.

But magically by mutuality of heart, we all fit. The athlete, the happy wives, the florist, the race track vendor, the fiancĂ©e, the cutie bug, the nurses, the news writer, the grammas, the singles, the divorcees, the barbecue judge, the zip liners, the caregivers, the yarn spinners... The girls of '72, And me...  What a good day to "turn around," wake up from the mist of life, and smile.

Whimsy and Hugs!

7 comments:

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

How lucky you are, to have been able to have such a wonderful Reunion. I'm so happy for you, my Dear.

Not all trips down memory lane are so sweet. I'm glad yours was. Very sweet.

Gentle hugs,
Tessa~

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

you write beautifully.....and I loved reading this. I love when you said and "we wonder why they all look old"....so true. :) Have a sweet weekend. xo

wendy said...

Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

What a great day for you ladies! Wonderful memories. John Sutton


NanaDiana said...

Oh, Gayla. What a wonderful post. I am so happy that you were able to reconnect to those old friends. I lost many along the way...some to death and some to a change in location...some to lifestyle changes and some "just because". I am jealous that you have those connections to used-to-be-young-girls that grew up into strong, proud women. I am glad you went and glad that you had fun reconnecting. xo Diana

Ginney Camden said...

What a beautifully written post!

Laurie said...

Such a lovely post! Very glad you went but understand your hesitation!

Laurie S.