46-Year Reunion — A Kind of Time Warp

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Friday marked a special historic event for me. Mary (Baxter) Bickerstaff, Fred Ahrens and Imet with our spouses for breakfast. Forty-six years ago we were the three valedictorians at our high school graduation because all three of us had received all-A’s. We had been together once before about 16 years ago, but this was the first time we were able to sit down and talk. It’s amazing to me how we can get to know more about each other in two hours that we had in four years of high school. Maybe we’re growing up. Mary went on to become a nurse and to marry John, a Methodist minister, both retired now. Fred went on to become the Human Resource Director of the DuPont Company and married Nancy who was a nurse. They are enjoying retirement now and have hosted us in their Ocean City, NJ home for the past three days. I “clicked” with Fred and Sonia clicked with Nancy. We all were grateful that Mary and John were passing through town and could make our breakfast meeting so special.

We each spoke for ten minutes at graduation on “Nationalism: an Outgrowth of the Home, School and Church.” What patience the audience showed! I never realized what nationalism was until 20-30 years later. It was delightful to see how others had grown over the years, since none of us knew ourselves at that time and none of us knew much about what we wanted to do with our lives. But all six of us are now followers of Christ, who has blessed each one of us richly. Gratitude shared is a unique form of celebration.

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2 Responses to 46-Year Reunion — A Kind of Time Warp

  1. rockwatching says:

    I always find that meeting with people I once knew is a little sad. Cant say many people have changed for the better, most seem to be slipping into old age quite ungracefully and I am just not ready to go there yet. I hope I never do feel old. Glad to see you all hit it off again. I think people should just keep growing inside, in this way you might have an aged exterior but within you are far wiser and more developed.

  2. leejagers says:

    Thanks for your response, Rockwatching. A lot of people don’t grow. and that is sad. It seems to me that many people prefer to stay within their comfort zone of familiarity. This, of course, prevents growth. I think the reason for that inhibited way of living is that they operate from an insecure base and they don’t want to risk pain. Dr. Robert Karen, in his book Becoming Attached, explains why this is the case. If people do not experience secure attachment to their primary caretaker early in life, they are going to be more likely to “play it safe” than to explore, risk, and learn. I also think that growth takes place best in the context of relationship. I used to be a “5-Star Loner” but learned from my wife how to relate at a more personal level. It’s been tough at times, but well worth it. So it’s encouraging to meet up occassionally with some folks who have continued to explore, stretch, risk, relate and grow. I, too, hope I never feel old. — JLJ

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