Tuesday, September 3, 2013

20 years...

I'm not quite sure how it's possible that I have my 20 year high school reunion this weekend. Granted, I may not feel like high school was just yesterday...in fact, most of it I have blocked out I believe...but I do feel like I just went to college yesterday so for me to realize that was 20 years ago this month that I started college is MIND BOGGLING.

I am excited to see whomever shows up. I went to a pretty small Catholic girls high school, so our reunion will consist of a luncheon - that I didn't have to plan! Yay! Because funny enough, as much as I despised high school (and not for the fact that it was all girls or Catholic or anything like that, just for the plain old fact that I would have hated high school anywhere) I ended up planning our 10 year reunion. Still not sure how that happened. While I hated high school with a passion, I didn't hate the girls I went to school with. I can't say that I had many super close friends, but I was friends with a lot of the girls. I tended to float amongst the circles I think. Plus, there were quite a few of us who had been in school together since first grade so whether we hung out every day or not, we still knew quite a bit about each other. Anyway, out of a pretty small graduating class of I believe 105, give or take a few girls, we have had some bad luck bestowed upon us. I know I'm one of at least 5 girls who have had or are actively fighting cancer, and we have all had different types, not one the same as far as I know.

We lost our sophomore biology teacher, Susan Todd Hurst, to breast cancer right after our ten year reunion and I believe she was our age or a few years younger than us when she passed. We were her first class when she started teaching and I was happy she was able to come to our reunion, as sick as she was. She had two young boys when she passed, and I've thought of her quite often over the past few years.

We are also missing two girls from our class. One I had gone to school with since first grade. Monica Ruiz. She had the longest hair ever, and she lived down the street from the girl who I was best friends with for quite some time in grammar school, so while we weren't close friends, she would invite us over in the summer to use her pool and hang out. I have to say even though I went to school with Monica for 12 years I don't know very much about her. As I said, we weren't close friends but we certainly were not enemies - we just didn't hang anywhere near the same circles. A few years back, of few of the kids I went to school since first grade with found out that she had committed suicide - she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after high school graduation and just didn't see an end to the misery according to a website post her husband had written. Really quite a sad situation and I'm sorry she had to go through that.

Our other lost friend is Dr. Naomi Fukushima. Naomi was a kick, she was a tiny, petite little thing who was quiet until she let a zinger go and then it was on. She was spunky. And smart. We had quite a few classes together over the years and I would think considered each other friends, at least school friends. She was at our reunion, had been married very shortly before that I believe. Then about a year later was diagnosed with an extremely rare pulmonary sarcoma, which I believe was so rare there was something like less than 200 diagnosed cases of it. She fought and fought and fought, but from what other friends have said, she was a doctor, her dad was a doctor, and she knew. Our reunion was in fall of 2003, by May of 2005 she died. Again, cancer, you beyond suck.

So I want them to know that they are not forgotten, and will be remembered when we get together this weekend, and they will be toasted. And I hope to God they are looking down, intervening with someone, saying you have enough of us for a while, you don't need any more of the Class of '93 anytime soon.

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