When we walked off the Quad some 40 years ago as graduates of Wake Forest University, did we ever imagine it would come to this, what we experienced yesterday?
A day by the pool with a basketball hoop and game of PIG among the topless fellas, at Brad’s house on the Chesapeake Bay; looking out towards the water, seeing his 200-foot dock and white motorboat, fishing and not catching any and that being fodder for laughs, riding on Brad’s boat, feeling the wind on our faces, taking in the sunshine, looking forward with optimism, looking back with satisfaction.
We caught up about our kids, where they went to high school and college, and what they’re doing now in their careers. We tossed around how many more years we plan to work before we retire. Two, three, maybe more. Some of us already had retired. Let’s raise our beverages to them, the finishers, and the rest of us almost there.
That’s what this reunion was: a toast to us all.
We’re in the stretch run of our lives. The bulk of the grueling marathon called living is over. Now all that’s left are a few more miles while on both sides of the road, crowds cheer us on for lives well lived, efforts put forth, ups and downs, successes, rejections, tears, aggravations, births, graduations, and marriages of our children. The band beside the race plays upbeat songs – no doubt Thunder Road is one of them –because we’ve all come out of this mysterious puzzle called life winners.
Through all of it, we endured, climbing to the apex of the mountain, all the way to yesterday, to a celebration of lives with our wives and significant others.
Getting older yet feeling more comfortable, each one of us, with who we have become, whether it was a neurologist or rheumatologist or lawyer or writer or commercial real estate salesman or construction project manager or financial analyst or accountant or teacher or whatever.
It didn’t matter what the details were yesterday, how much money we made or didn’t make, or how many awards we won.
What mattered is we were together, again as we were on the Wake Forest campus so many years ago before our adult lives began in earnest.
There were no interpersonal tensions, no squabbling, no insecurities that one of us ended up more successful or more wealthy or had more kids or any of that.
What mattered was we had made it to yesterday, re-convened for nothing but good times, food, and conversations.
Supportive of each other, proud of each other, and friends with each other.
Relationships with lifelong friends are treasures more important than promotions and status and who has the smartest or best-looking kids.
In the end, that stuff doesn’t matter. What matters are people who like each other, and know each other both the good and bad, getting together to share a bundle of laughs, hugs, stories, and well wishes.
We wanted each other to succeed from the day we left Wake Forest. We all did, but mostly because we continue to be friends and care about each other.
This will go on and on.
Our best years are in front of us. Our biggest and most lasting contributions to the world are about to be unleashed.
Another reason to celebrate us.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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