we were only freshmen.

A(nother) high school classmate of mine has passed on.  Hannah and I were early-childhood friends.  We bonded by ending up in a lot of the same classes, sharing a birthday and a love for books.  I remember joint birthday parties, blowing out the candles together, celebrating another year of life.  I remember our conversations in French class in high school, our laughter over Brie and baguette.  As is to be expected in small-town life, our paths remained connected.

When I left the area after high school, I didn’t realize how much I was leaving behind.  In light of the news, I pulled out my high school yearbooks today.  As I flipped through the pages, I shifted back and forth between laughter and tears.  I am so thankful for those years; they remain among the best of my life.  Everyone’s high school experience includes a bit of drama and struggle, but overall, I think mine was good, in the truest sense of the word.  Those years will filled with fantastic people who have given me unforgettable memories.

Even though I am only 7 years removed from that life, I feel so distant from it.  So much has changed.  Many of those once-strong ties have faded.  My life has been up-rooted and transplanted.  On a night like this, with news like this, it reminds me and reaffirms that I was privileged to have a blessed childhood, full of love and laughter.  The years since high school have been filled with a fair share of loss and struggle.  Through all of it, I trust that I have grown stronger.

To those who were a part of my high school days: thank you for making my life a bit more beautiful.  I will always love my days as a Hillbilly.

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One response to “we were only freshmen.

  1. I cannot tell you how many times I look out at my backyard (we live on the corner of Gardner and Johnson now) and see your old house on Ventura. I fondly remember all the times we played basketball in your driveway with all the neighborhood kids. It’s weird even now to think how much has changed since those days. That whole street used to be so close. Now I feel like I don’t even know who lives there anymore. It’s kind of sad. I hope you are doing well down in PA!

    -Meg

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