Do you like class reunions? I thoroughly enjoy mine, although it took me over two decades before I went to one.
The first reunion I attended wasn’t even mine. It was my wife’s, 20 years after she graduated from Omaha’s Bishop Ryan High School. I had such a good time, I couldn’t wait for the next one, the 25th anniversary of Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson’s class of 1963. We’ve been regulars ever since.
My class gets together again this month and I’ve been given the honor of speaking to the group about my work as a personal historian. My classmates and I are at that age of self-reflection where we look back on our lives, consider what we’ve accomplished and how it will matter to future generations.
High school reunions give us a chance to reconnect with an important part of our past, those who were at our sides during those formative years before we struck out into the unknown of the real world, to take our places among honest-to-goodness adults where our thoughts and actions truly meant something.
Stories are at the heart of every reunion. Stories of dreams fulfilled and promise unrealized, joy and heartbreak, life and death. Every story we hear or tell at a reunion matters to us. They are threads woven deeply in our life’s tapestry.
One point I hope to make to my classmates is that our family stories matter, too. Even if our kids and grandkids don’t care about them today, they will someday. It’s our job to make them available when they’re ready, even if that’s after we’re gone.
Thomas Jefferson High School logo courtesy of neoarcana1.