This year marks 40 years since I finished High School (I can’t possibly be that old!) by Tina Y. Ger
I am excited about reconnecting with friends, catching up, and I am a little nervous too. During our high school years we experienced the same teachers, shared the same extracurricular activities, the same friends (or enemies), and spending a significant amount of time growing and sharing experiences together. Growing away from my old high school friends doesn’t change the fact we grew side by side during that time, but we can affectionately think back and fondly reminisce. Celebrating both the good and bad can be a mixed blessing. A lot has happened in 40 years. I think people will be genuinely warm, friendly and happy to see each other. We grew up in picturesque Port Perry, which continues to be a warm, inviting and friendly place. I couldn’t imagine living beyond Durham Region. It will be interesting to see how we all turned out and some, I imagine, may not have turned out as I would have expected. Hopefully, we are not the same people we were in high school, and many of us have changed and evolved. I wonder if there will be posters celebrating the lives of people who have died; understanding at this age, we are not invincible and their passing reminds us that we travelled this road together. Friends are two people coming together, and forming a bond that evolves into a relationship. I can count my true friends on my one hand. A true friendship blossoms when it is watered and nurtured, just like a beautiful flower that changes over time. A true friend is someone who guarantees our acceptance just the way we are, and shares our joys as well as our sorrows. The laughter we share, as well as the difficulties, contribute to our survival both then and now. While I would like to look and feel like I did in high school, I wouldn’t go back and relive my life. I am in a new stage, redefining resilience and what it means to be 60. It’s not a burden or decline (darn knee and arthritis) but a new opportunity to grow and contribute to society and the world around me. Ephesians 4:15-16. So, at what age does a person stop getting older and actually become old? While our perspective on what matters in life has changed, we usually develop wisdom and maturity, as we age, which helps us gain insight into who we are now and how we got here, sharing many teachable moments for the generations to come. Like many questions in life, the definition of old age depends on who you ask. We can remain forever young at heart or we can grow old gracefully, (or not). Your kids have turned into capable and independent adults, who have made you proud grandparents. Age is just a number, and I don’t feel any different and that is a huge step forward for me. Aging is a beautiful gift from God. We have to make a choice to believe in God while we are still alive. Even if only moments away from death, we can still be saved for all eternity. No, we cannot turn back the hands of time, but we can live a more abundant and healthy life regardless of how much time has already passed.