Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reunion

My 1967 Senior Class Photo

This year my graduating class of 1967 at Robert E. Fitch Senior High will be having its 45th Reunion.

The opportunity of attending this reunion has presented me with a dilemma.  Why should I make an effort to attend an event with people who I have not seen or communicated with in 45 years?  Obviously these are people that have meant very little to me and I have meant very little to them over the years for if we had, we would have maintained some contact.  On the other hand, the reunion does present an opportunity, perhaps the last opportunity for many, to express my appreciation and regards to people who shared events and experiences from a critical time period of my life.  Perhaps more importantly a reunion provides the opportunity to pay some respects to fellow classmates who are no longer alive.

Perhaps many of us did not turn out the way that we were supposed to or were expected to.  Life has a habit of presenting opportunities and challenges to the path that we start upon or the path that we prefer to travel on our life journey.  However it is our decisions and manner in which we cope with these opportunities as well as challenges that makes each life so interesting and rich.  At the events like this, we learn that we are not alone ... alone in the suffering, joys, triumphs, and disappointments of life.  We are not alone in having shared many of the world events that have shaped history over the past 45 years.

Attending a reunion is not a matter of seeking vindication for the choices that we have made or giving vindication to others for theirs. Rather it is an opportunity to share those choices and to perhaps better understand why we are who we are today and to understand better where we came from.

I have addressed the fear of perhaps being on my death bed and wondering back upon my life and questioning "What would my life had been like, if back ... I had ..."  I did not want to be in that situation, so I made a decision to take that branch off to the side of the road and discover what lay down that road.  I do not regret having done that for my life is richer and more complete.

So after discussing it with Duang, I agreed that we will attend the reunion.  I don't want to regret at some point not having attended.  It will be an opportunity to thank some people and express appreciation to some people for the influence that they had on me so long ago.  Attending the reunion will also be an experience for Duang to learn a little more about American culture, my past, and to enjoy a night out.

Duang and I have traveled many miles to encounter and interact with peoples of very different cultures.  We have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and experience what other people are like.  We have never been disappointed.  Having done that and our intention is to continue doing that, it is only logical that we would cross the river to spend some time with some people that I went to school with.

I will return to Groton from Thailand on Thursday night, so after 30 hours of travel and 13 hours of time change, it should be even that more interesting for me on Saturday night.

It is far better, in my mind, to be curious than to be sorry.  One thing that I am certain of, there will be no 90th Reunion.

6 comments:

  1. It will be fun, don't overanalyse!

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    1. OK, I will try; as difficult as it may be (not over analyzing) I am a retired engineer and you most likely know about engineers ... always analyzing. However I do know how to have fun!

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  2. Dianne ZdanowiczApril 6, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    I'm so glad you will be going and I look forward to seeing you again and meeting your beautiful wife. I see the reunion as an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and to see others I may not have been close to but remember fondly. All of us have arrived at this place through our choices, good or bad, and the life experiences that have defined us as partners, parents, relatives and friends. Just chatting to hear where we all have been and how we got there should make for a wonderful evening...see you there!!

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    1. Your attitude is so refreshing. I hope that more of our classmates decide to attend. We look forward to spending some quality time with everyone. See you there, soon.

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  3. I think you'll be reeling with jetlag on Saturday. Sorry not to meet up with you this trip to Thailand, maybe next time!
    I have never done a school reunion, living away from the Netherlands. I would if I were there.

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    1. One good thing about the jet lag - I won't have to buy too many drinks to feel "giddy". Seriously though I will be watching the number of drinks - too many police and 200 Baht ($6) here will only buy you a great deal more trouble with the cops. I also have to be careful because Duang does not know how to drive a car here in America. I am glad to hear that you would go to your reunion if you were back in the Netherlands. Hope to see you and Dorothy ... soon

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