I write this note the morning after I gathered with about forty of my classmates from my graduating class, the Hermitage High School Class of 1987 (Go Panthers! And yes, I almost x’d out the 87, but hey, age is nothing to be ashamed of, right? It’s just a number! Keep tellin’ yourself that, Margaret…). It’s been twenty years since any of us had the time, energy, or motivation to muster up the sort of reunion that’s worthy of a flight or long drive, which in the rosy afterglow of my time spent with these old friends, I realize is truly a shame.
When we had our big tenth-year bash, there was no social media to keep us all in touch, which is a good and bad thing. It’s been great to reconnect with so many people from the various times of our lives through Facebook, but it sure can make us complacent about making a real attempt to actually see each other face-to face. I’m so sad to think that I seriously considered not going to the mini-reunion, knowing that I see my closest friends often enough and keep up with everyone else through Facebook. I know now, as I’m often reminded and somehow manage to forget in between, that it’s not the same to stay in touch via social media, nor is it enough. Yes, I knew that one classmate had been battling cancer for a couple of years, but to sit down with him and hear about his journey, the outpouring of support his family has received, and his outlook on the future was something I could never fully absorb through a Facebook post or two. Gathering together to toast our classmates who have passed away and remember the sound of their laughter and their high school antics was so much better than the condolences that were passed around online. Hearing about friends’ kids, jobs, spouses, and their parents, who had a hand in raising some of us from time to time, was such a joy. I’m already looking forward to the next time we can all get together in person and am vowing to make it happen sooner than 2027 (gulp).
With Thanksgiving coming right up, the same can be said for gathering family together live and in person, as this month’s Real Mom so eloquently sums up beginning on page eighteen. As families grow and move to far-flung parts of the globe, it can be hard to keep traditions alive, but if it can be done, the memories made are totally worth it. I had to smile when I read that she celebrates Friendsgiving, too, a tradition that has lasted for over twenty years in one of my circles of friends. It definitely hasn’t been easy to find a date that works or a space large enough for the group that has grown over the years to include spouses and kids, but I’m so happy we have kept the gathering going for so long.
This Thanksgiving, may you find joy in gathering with those you love, remembering those you have lost, and feasting on your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.