A boyhood buddy tried flipping himself into a beanbag chair, became a quadriplegic and a highly esteemed teacher. June dueled cancer three times and pointedly told the author never to forget her. Joel was a pubescent blowhard who became a helping hand to many before battling health crises. Pat was a homecoming queen, became a hospice nurse and overcame ambivalence about attending reunions before taking on cancer. During teen years Chris seemed the most self-assured but later revealed she had been in a fog. DeeDees husband, an MS victim, urged her to put him in a nursing home to ease her burden. She refused. This loveliest of widows kept on living and loving and at age 59 still could do cartwheels. Fran proved unstoppable during a daunting journey from college mascot to career success. Poh Hong put aside doubts by family and friends and flew half way around the world to attend a reunion. John was a college football player, became a minister, accepted strangers into his prayer circle and dealt with his own heartaches. Then there was Jim who persuaded the author to attend his first reunion and later showed remarkable mettle amid dire circumstances.
Reunions can be powerful. High school, college and graduate school class reunions as well as one-on-one reconnections in distant locations can whisper strong messages, teach lasting lessons, and tell us much about the resilience of the human spirit.