June 25, 2014

Reunion Memories

Our 65th reunion of the Class of 1949 at Gettysburg High School is over, and everyone who attended is basking in the glow of happy memories.

Unfortunately, almost half our classmates are no longer with us and unable to share those memories. They were our friends, our teammates, our confidants, our inspiration, our dance partners and in some cases our sweethearts, and they touched our lives in many ways.

We are all products of both our genes and our environment, and I am proud to declare that those classmates and teachers who touched my life at Gettysburg High School contributed significantly to the person I am today.

Of course, I also believe that our personality and character are also influenced by our relationship with and our trust in our Creator.

In a poem by Regina Wiecek titled Learning to Trust, the author says: 
Help me to trust
When my world falls apart.
Guide me through darkness
When night is upon me,
And I will press on
With joy in my heart.
All of our classmates have experienced trauma in their long lives, heartaches like: the death of a loved one, a debilitating illness, financial problems or loneliness. For those of faith when their world fell apart, they turned to the Lord to guide them through the shadows.

It is my impression that those of our classmates who have pressed on with joy in their hearts despite the pain and sorrow they may have suffered, they are the happiest and most optimistic about their future.  

June 9, 2014

Remembering Friends

Nancy and I are returning to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania this week to celebrate our 65th reunion with the members of the Class of 1949 at Gettysburg High School. It is a time to reminisce and remember fondly the days of our youth.

As I looked over the list of deceased classmates, I could not help but reflect on how they touched our lives.  We learned with them. We competed with them. We sang with them. We danced with them. We cheered with them. We laughed with them.

They were our best friends and confidants. They shared our joys, our thrills and our successes. They came to our aid when we were lost and confused.

They touched our lives in so many ways, and they helped to make our high school experience memorable and fulfilling. They will remain forever joy entries in our memory banks.

During our Reunion, we will formally remember the ties which bind us to our classmates as we participate in a Ritual of Remembrance which begins with this invocation adapted from Gates of Prayer, a Reformed Judaism Prayerbook:
Gracious God of all Comfort, we remember now our dear classmates who fought the good fight, kept the faith and have gone on ahead of us.
The Ritual will conclude with this promise:
As long as we live, we will remember them, and in remembering, they too shall live.