Finding an old friend is like finding a lost treasure.
I don’t remember much about my High School classmates. What are their memories of me? I didn’t really like High School. I wasn’t popular. I didn’t excel in sports or academics. I dog-paddled my way to graduation. After graduation, I left my home, my city, my state, and my country. I didn’t come back to live until 2010, forty-five years later.
I sit in a pink plastic Adrindock chair on the front porch of a rented Airbnb in Sedona, Arizona. I have a glass of red wine in my right hand. I am mesmerized by the full moon encased in a very thin cloud above the peak of the mountain right in front of our rental. It is very quiet except for the voices of four women sharing their stories and laughing. We are reconnecting. After communicating with each other for almost one year on Facebook we decide to have an adult “slumber party” with wine, lots of wine, crackers, and cheese sounded like a great idea. This brings us to the Airbnb in Sedona.
We sit on the porch sipping our Arizona produced wine supplied to us by Nancy who is an Arizona wine connoisseur. Myra, Nancy, and Shelly tell stories about some of our other classmates. I don’t remember many of them. Their names sound familiar, but I can only match up a few of them in my mind. Why can’t I remember these people? Nancy tells us about her grandchildren and how she gets along with both her ex-husband and her now husband. Shelly tells us about taking care of her aging mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Myra tells us about her children and how she thinks about their future. Both Myra and I lost our husbands to cancer in the last three years. I tell stories of my travels and previous life. First living in Mexico, then living in Japan, followed by living in Michigan. The end of the journey was moving back to Arizona. We try to fill in the memory gaps. I am the only one who seems to have memory gaps. I don’t feel too bad because Myra also suffers from memory gaps too. Not as much as I do.
What happened to me? Why can’t I remember my classmates from Bourgade High School?
We talk, eat, and drink for two days. We get to know each other once again. I feel like I have found three new friends. We visit wineries in Page Springs, eat cheese and crackers, and chocolate, we stop at antique and clothing stores. We eat dinner in town, drive back to the cabin, open another bottle of Arizona wine, and continue to talk. We talk about our families, other classmates, those who have passed away, those who are sick, and those who are doing well.
I wasn’t sure if we would get along. We could just pretend that we liked each other. That was not the case. I am so happy to have this great group of women as friends. I don’t remember being their friends in High School, but I don’t need to. They are my friends now, and we have a whole new future to continue our new found friendship.
Reconnecting is not all that hard and has its benefits. We can relate to each other as adult women with experiences, grown children, and work experience. No permission slips needed.