Sunday, January 5, 2014

One of our dearest, one of my new daughters recently came to me with concern.

"Whenever you are around lately I have just not been myself. I mean, that really isn't who I am! That's not me!"

"I can't wait to meet you, Lovey!" I say.

Our laughter brings ease.

That is how it is sometimes, no? Someone touches the surface of who you are and facade does not represent you well. There is a whole level of who you are that they do not know. Sometimes you can get to the next level with others and sometimes there isn't time for it.

I feel it as she put it sometimes. Not with her. Her heart and mine are crossing barriers and becoming more knit with the passing of days. No, it is with the new folk. I am meeting a lot of new people these days. Trust is born over time. 

I feel it with those I grew up with sometimes.

Lord willing, I will be going home to Kansas for a class reunion this summer. It is a big one. I always look forward to them. We meet every five years . . . five, the number of grace. 

We share snippets about ourselves at these meetings. I totally bombed our last gathering. I'm pretty sure that my surface self betrayed me. It was a night I have wished a thousand times that I could relive. Retrospect is 20/20. 

I am already contemplating what I will say this summer. I've had five years to prepare . . . and I fear I will most likely blow it again. 

But, if there is opportunity, I will let each one I speak to know how very important they are to me. I will be grateful on the inside (even if it doesn't shine through my exterior) for each one of them, for the many ways they have impacted and inspired my life. I'm so proud of all of them. We have a siblingship. And I care . . . every day . . . I care about each one of them.

An underclassman committed suicide recently . . . during the 12 days of Christmas his despair overwhelmed and he looked for escape. It has broken all of our hearts. I wish I could have told him that I care. I have deep regret that there was no way to rescue him from his pain. I'm heartbroken and so very sorry.

Praying each one of my friends will feel their worth. My heart feels and knows it, I hope they will too.
I know what some of you are thinking.

"They don't need to see you! They need to see Jesus!"

Well, I say, may He be on the surface and completely visible. Not just at my class reunion, but every single day. May that bring ease to all of us.

Are you one of my classmates? Can I just say, perhaps what you have seen is not really who I am.

I hope you say, "I can't wait to meet you, Lovey!" 


With blessings and love.


Pat said...

2014 is my reunion year as well--50 from a school that no longer exists. In 1984 I stepped forward to organize a 20th reunion. One day a woman I did not recognize appeared at my door: "I just wanted to see if you had any gray hair before I committed to come to the reunion," my former classmate from my freshman year said. After a visit, a cup of coffee, and an examination of my graying roots, she agreed to come. Another person--an outstanding student leader--did not. She confessed later that she was apprehensive at where the rest of us would "be" in terms of appearance, careers, family, etc., and, instead of taking a chance, she stayed away.

Reunions can be joyous,though school reunions can be difficult, I think in part because we all have changed by virtue of time and life experience. And those changes may have taken us a different direction from the expectations we set for ourselves--and, worse, the ones others set for us--when we were 18. (That's a huge downside of those Senior Superlatives in yearbooks, by the way.)

If anything should draw you together to reaffirm your commitment to supporting each other in the paths that life takes each of you, it is the recent loss of that very special person to whom you referred in your post. (I had more than one sleepless night as I reflected on that vibrant, delightful person I had the honor to teach.) Life is short and very difficult for some of us, and we should support each other at every opportunity.

I wish you all a wonderful reunion where everyone realizes that each of you is in a different moment in your life. That difference is, after all, reason enough to come back to the next one.

Cheri Bunch said...

Dear Pat,
This is so special. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I appreciate it so much!

You are so right. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hope your celebration is super wonderful and beyond!

Love to you!