This is another in a series of “stream of consciousness” posts hosted by Linda Hill. This blog hop is a year old today! Be sure and stop by Linda’s blog to wish her a happy anniversary and to see the rules and the posts of others doing the challenge…
This week, in honor of the occasion, Linda’s doing this in conjunction with Bee Halton, whose last name is very similar to mine (and so is the look of her blog). She’s running a blog hop this month called “Love Is In Da Blog,” or “LoIsInDaBl.” So we’ll tag her here, too..
So, without further ado…
This Week’s Prompt: Friend and Acquaint(ance)
I joined a group on Facebook recently that is a memorial page for the people who went to my high school that have passed on. When I did, naturally, I looked immediately for people who graduated in 1974, the year I graduated.
New Trier Township High School, West Campus, Northfield, Illinois. If you’ve seen the movie Uncle Buck, you might remember it. (source: Google)
I was lucky; a guy who graduated with me, who I remembered from gym classes, had posted a list of the now-deceased members of the Class of 1974. And other people commented with other names. In all, 40 people from my class. Not a lot when you consider that there were 685 people in my class (that’s what, 6%?), but still, I knew most of them, and was friends with a few. I keep thinking, no, they can’t be gone, they’re too young, then I realize all of us are pushing 60.
But, I don’t feel like a 59-year-old man. At least my mind doesn’t. In my mind, we just walked out of the gym, holding our diplomas, not that long ago. We’re too young to have so many deceased classmates! My mind says that, then I stand up and feel the pain in my legs and hear the bones rubbing around in my knees, and I limp to the stairs and up them, and I realize that it’s been eight years since my stroke, and I was also too young for that…
I realize that I had sat in class with these kids, passed them in the halls, probably stood next to a couple of the guys in the restroom, saw them at lunch, and never got to know them. Now it’s too late. We could have been friends. I have one friend from high school that I stay in touch with. I run into people I went to grammar school with on Facebook, and we follow each other, and I see what they’re up to, and I comment, a voice from the past. And they comment, voices from my past. We spent nine years together, kindergarten through 8th grade (up north, we called that grammar school). Now we’re just a stream of bits to each other. If that… too many of my friends from those days aren’t on Facebook. Makes me wonder why I am.
I mean, people I used to talk to face-to-face, and sit in class with, and see around the neighborhood. They’re all over the country. I’m miles away from where I grew up, 800 long miles from Rogers Park.
I have one good friend in the world. My best friend. Mary. We’ve been married 37 years, and she’s always there, and when she’s not, I miss her. I’m lost without her.
No, I have a few more: Jim, Kip, and Pat, my brothers. We got close when our mother died. All of a sudden, she wasn’t there to keep us in touch. We’ve done all right without her, though we really suck at talking on the phone. Thank God for the Internet.
Stay in touch with your loved ones, and even a few you might have just known in passing. Life is too short.