Bucket list…

The chance to say hello again is a gift, one not to be taken lightly.  

How many of us have had the opportunity to reconnect with family or friends separated by time and circumstances?  I’ve been blessed a great deal this past year which started with my high school reunion and the renewal of many friendships along with several new ones.  Then, something I dreamed would never take place finally did when the son I put up for adoption reached out to find me after forty-seven years, the best gift of all!

There was one more special reunion with someone who had always rested in a soft spot in my mind, a first love that went back to junior high school.  A simple message on Facebook one day opened a door to remembering, laughing and sharing two lives that painfully parted in typical teen-age heartbreak more than fifty years ago.  It was nice to talk once again, as old friends.

We both shared our stories of family drama, things everyone experiences, coping with all that is good, bad or indifferent.   He spoke about not fully understanding how and why things take a negative turn in life, especially his, but he did so with kindness and a certain acceptance that so much of what we deal with is God’s plan.

He had Cancer.  Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to be exact.  He was in somewhat of a remission when we first started talking, his spirits were great and he spoke often about a favorite movie called “The Bucket List”.  He urged me to watch it and I asked if he had a list of his own, which he most certainly did.  The list was made up of just two things, buying himself a new Mercedes and taking a trip with a close friend to Mackinac Island.  It seems that his buddy was fixated on a movie called “Somewhere in Time” and wanted to visit the Michigan hotel where the film was made.  I smiled to myself, visualizing the two of them heading out on this road trip but encouraged him to grab that proverbial bucket and go! 

As too often happens where Cancer is concerned, things started deteriorating.  Our conversations became fewer as he again started Chemotherapy; it weakened him considerably and his positive spirit desperately struggled with the side-effects of the treatments.  A few weeks ago, I texted him to see how he was doing.  He replied “At hospital, talk later”   I never heard from him again, he passed away on September 1st.

Now, I keep thinking about the whole bucket list deal, about how we all need to have wishes and dreams, just as he did.   What’s important is to act on many of these things while we can.  Just do it!  Enjoy whatever life has to offer while there is still time.  Renew friendships, apologize where needed, make peace and move beyond past transgressions, walk in the rain, savor every sunrise, every sunset and catch snowflakes on your tongue.

Live….like you were dying.

 

 

From the inspiring Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop….”What were you blogging about last year at this time?  How have things changed?”

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I cheated a bit on this prompt, choosing not to change anything from one year ago when I wrote this post.   It’s kind of difficult to change anything about this story or re-write it with a new outlook.   Easier to reflect on an old friendship from simpler times and maybe, just maybe, start adding a few things to my own bucket list….while there’s still time!

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It’s happening…

I have a favorite holiday movie from many years ago.  Who doesn’t, you think while wondering just why the heck I’m bringing this up in August.

Let me explain.

It wasn’t the entire movie but one specific line that just flew into my head when I received a friend request on Facebook.  As I responded to this new/old friend from years ago I thought…”it’s happening!” 

I’ll explain further.

48 days from this very moment (less a few hours) my 50th high school reunion will be in full swing.  Over these last few months, classmates have been reaching out to each other with many of us learning so much about the lives we’ve lost touch with over these past years.  We spend time laughing, sharing and consoling as we rekindle friendships or, in my case, getting the chance to talk with those I once admired from a distance.  We are all bubbling over with excited anticipation as our big night draws closer.

So, how does this Christmas movie play in to all of this?

Well, at first I was hesitant, even ambivalent, about attending my reunion as I was always a bit of an outsider in high school.  I wrote about it last year, then gave it a great deal of thought.   The passing of years brings so many changes and attitudes can remain unmovable or they can soften, become eager to explore, and make up for lost time.  I wrote about that as well and remembered this 1977 holiday movie called The Gathering which was about a family separated by indifference and arguments who comes together again for a reunion.  At one point, the father, played by Ed Asner, exclaims “it’s happening” as everyone agrees to share the Christmas holiday.

Now, on September 20, 2014, a very large group of friends, some who were like family to each other during many years of school, will meet again for a very special gathering, a celebration of what we were and all we’ve become.  We will miss those who are unable to attend and softly speak of friends we’ve lost. 

Yes.  It’s happening!

 

 

 

 

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Brief moments, lifetime memories…

Excitement is starting to build.  At least for me.  Finally.

It’s just four months away.  People are making their plans and many of us are getting to know each other again…some for the first time.  Okay, I’ll admit that I was totally on-the-fence about this gathering at first and blogged about my skepticism this past October.  Going back twenty-five years to our last big reunion event, all I had was my tattered yearbook to look into and pull up familiar faces…and memories.  Now, my high school graduation class mingles on social media to check out the endless before photographs of the way we once were while smiling to see all that we’ve become.

Yes, as I’ve written about before…it’s The Big One..my 50th high school reunion.

And, suddenly, we all have so much to share.  Doors have been opening to new friendships and old ones are warming-up, awaiting the night when we walk in the door and search for a special smile that we remember from years ago.  Sure, we’ve all grown older matured, but the passing of time hasn’t altered what made each of us unique, in our own way.  Facebook has brought many of us together in ways we couldn’t have imagined back in high school days.  Now, we find ourselves liking family photos or status updates, offering prayers and wishes when someone is in pain and sending Candy Crush gifts or, better yet, Words With Friends challenges.

 

I wasn’t a high school mover and shaker back then.  Mostly, I stayed in the background trying to find a place where I fit in but that provided me with the advantage of observing and getting to know classmates on an entirely different level.   Now, it’s come full circle and here we all are…waiting for Saturday, September 20th, 2014, to say hello again…or, for the very first time.

 

Life gives us brief moments with another…but sometimes, in those brief moments, we get memories that last a lifetime

 

 

 

 

 

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