I mean it when I say I completely adored my 11th/12th grade years. I attended a small private school where there really wasn't much of the traditional, clique-ish atmosphere. It was a family of sorts. Dysfunctional? Sure, at times. But a family nonetheless. They needed a shortstop for the team and I needed a change in surroundings. I had no idea the depth of the lifelong relationships I'd form as a result. All I gotta say is...praise God they needed a shortstop.
If I were to sum up my class in a few words? I'd go with "insane", "silly", and "covertly intelligent". Covertly intelligent in that our teachers knew we were smart, but no one else would've guessed it. Okay, that was probably just me. I shouldn't throw my friends into the path of that bus. There was very little we took seriously, with the exception of our athletic teams. We were larger than life and living it in fast forward fashion. I still recall how us girls would have sleepovers where we'd often spend as much time chatting with our friend's parents as we would with one another. Again, like a family...
Most of us held jobs at the local mall. Some of us were fortunate enough to work across the hallway from one another. After closing time, or during a snowstorm that left the mall quite empty, us girls rolled thawed pretzel dough from our employ at Bavarian Pretzel and threw it across the hall at our classmate boys working at Kinney Shoes. The boys at Kinney Shoes would blare the store radio so that we could sing and dance in our respective stores. We made about $3.65/hr. It was to be expected.
Facebook reunited us after too many years apart. In the random stati that have been posted, we've learned that we continue to have things in common...even as grown up spouses, parents, and now mature, responsible employees.
We rescue animals, we have similar home lives, and some of us even have ms. My friend, Brian, who was one of the Kinney Shoes boys and the epitome of silliness, happens to be the President of Team Inspire. That's a team of people who ride an insane number of miles on behalf of folks like me...and his dear wife...who have ms. I wish that his wife and I didn't have so much in common.
This year, Team Inspire was honored by the Nat'l MS Society for being a top fundraiser. They've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight ms. And I'm blessed to be one of the people they take into account when they're riding...and riding...and riding.
My classmates and I are still very much a family:-) They offered to park my car for me. They met me on the sidewalk and walked with me to the establishment. Every door was held on my behalf. Those seated at the end of the table all stood up for me when I entered so that I had a choice of way too many seats. They offered to walk with me to the restroom. At the end of the night, I was delivered to my car, reverse valet style. I was truly humbled by their thoughtfulness and careful consideration...invisible symptoms or not.
This is Brian, delivering a classic photobomb on me. This is me, cracking up over it. Any questions...
This used to be the girl gunning pretzel dough...and the boy across the mall hallway, dancing to blaring music.
My apologies, ms. You're not on our level. I mean...just look at us! MS hasn't stolen our smiles, nor our joy, nor our relationships. It can't steal our faith, nor our determination, nor our will. That goes for each and every one of us, everywhere. We > ms.
I am thankful to have the loving thoughts, prayers, and consideration from my high school family-esque friends. Thank you, graduating Class of 1990. I am truly blessed by your friendship:-)