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.