Friday, December 15, 2006

Not Fade Away

After several months of saying we would, I finally got together with a high school acquaintance last month. We had a lively and heartfelt conversation about the kinds of feelings a twentieth reunion inspires - what we've accomplished in the past twenty years, what's worked out, what hasn't; and what things, try as we might have in high school, we could have never predicted would happen.
In the past year, in addition to this pleasant meeting, my class reunion and this blog have led me to be in touch with some other people I'd since lost contact. Prior to this, I'd made the observation to another friend that it's sad to no longer be in contact with the people who were once integral parts of your life. The people who were there when formative memories were made. Without those people to share the memory, I surmised, it's like the event never happened. This, I suppose, is why people of specific generations gravitate towards other people of the same age. There's shared memories, even if the people didn't know each other or didn't even live in the same proximity when they were growing up. They still share the same popular music and can relate to the same historical events. In my case I could approach anyone who graduated in 1986 and ask them where they were when they heard about the Challenger explosion. I was in the school library. Amy came in and made an announcement to that affect but no one paid her any mind, she always did have a flair for the dramatic.
What I've realized this past year, however, is that even the people who were closest to you at the time may not remember the significant events that you remember with the same intensity that you do. Incredibly, they may not remember them at all.
Extrapolating on this theme I could ask my husband what specifics he remembers about our wedding day. Granted there are probably some things he and I both remember, seven years isn’t that long ago; but there are, no doubt, things that I remember that he has no recollection of whatsoever, and vice versa.
In a like manner I think about all the memories I now have of my sons, things that we’ve done together. Since when do my parents play a starring role in any of my childhood memories? A few family vacations but that’s about it.
What it comes down to then is the memories that are special to you really are yours alone, regardless of how many high school or college friends you still keep in touch with. Which isn't to say you shouldn't reconnect, happily it may lead you to a memory you had previously forgotten. Just be forewarned and don’t be too disappointed when what seemed pivotal to you at the time, barely registers on someone else's radar.

song: Not Fade Away artist: Buddy Holly

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