I can’t believe it’s been over a week already. Last Friday, I was having lunch with my brother, then heading to the college for our evening re-connect reunion dinner. I arrived on Thursday, having had a wonderful night with a dear friend in Denver, who took me to dinner and a comedy club for much-needed laughter at nothing in particular. (Best line of the night: “NASCAR–like painting numbers on a ceiling fan!”) The flight out was non-stop and uneventful. I experienced a first when I arrived at the airport before security was open. The advantage to that was a very quick line through and an early take off and landing in Atlanta. The weather was gorgeous. I forget how green everything is there, and how lush…that trees and undergrowth will encroach right onto the streets if allowed.
One of my local college friends met me at the top of the arrival escalator with a sign that said “Crone #1” and the party was on! We ate lunch at an airport restaurant while we waiting for three other travelers coming from different points. Apparently, the Universe was happy that we were getting together because three flights that were supposed to be a couple of hours apart all landed within minutes of each other and everyone converged on baggage claim at nearly the same time. After all belongings were collected, we dodged cars across the arrival lanes to get to our vehicle. As we went, one friend commented, “This just seems so normal!” As, indeed, it did.
The reunion itself was a cookie-cutter of those past and yet to come. Meet up on Friday, college and class things on Saturday (new officers elected, exhortations to give money, does anyone know where these people are, etc.) and then the procession to the Hall where we appreciated and were appreciated by others. This year was a little bit special because it was the 125th birthday of the college (or, as one friend’s daughter exclaimed, “Mom, this is your 125th reunion!” Well, not quite…), and we celebrated with a large cake, singing Happy Birthday and various photos taken with “flat Agnes” the life-size cut out portrait of the college’s namesake. After that, free time and wandering until we met again at a classmate’s house for a wonderful dinner, and finally on Sunday, more eating (and drinking) at yet another classmate’s home for brunch before we all had to scatter to our various directions and resume our regular lives.
So that was the bare bones of the weekend. What couldn’t be predicted or known; however, is the amazing depth and breadth of the friendships that were formed 35 years ago, sometimes haphazardly, sometimes instantly, in dorm rooms, classrooms and yes, sometimes even locker rooms and restrooms. The women I am proud to call friends live amazing lives. They conquer challenges that would fell superheros. They write, they grow, they heal, they love and laugh, and give back to the world in infinite ways that will continue to live on long after we are all gone. I am so proud to call all of them my friends, and incredibly humbled that they want to call me the same. No matter what we majored in, regardless of what we do for a living today or how much we might leave behind financially, this is the true legacy of my college…deep, enduring friendships that have carried us all through the best and worst of times, and will continue to do so until each of us has passed into our next adventure.
Thank you, all, for being my fortune.