The anticipation was killing me.
I had waited 13 years for this moment.
And it was finally here.
Muggy, humid, misty weather and all.
I stood in front of the mirror of my vanity in the room that I claimed “mine” nearly seven years earlier.
In front of me – the girl with shoulder length hair was gone. Gone was the girl who hadn’t hit puberty yet. Gone was the girl who wasn’t sure of her future.
Instead, a young woman stood there looking back at me. She had (bad) short hair and wire-rimmed glasses. Around her, she wore a navy blue robe and with a yellow cord. And in less than three months, she would be a freshman at Bowling Green State University majoring in criminal justice (Yes, that clearly did not happen).
As she carefully placed her cap on her hat, she prayed to the Hair God to let her hair look decent for the next three hours. But in the end, the weather made her head look like a wet mop.
But she didn’t care.
All the persistence and dedication paid off …
I WAS GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL.
And next weekend is my 20th class reunion.
It’s no secret that in the spring I was slightly dreading this moment.
Did I really want to see the person who sat next to me in English?
Did I really want to hear old stories of “glory days?”
Did I really care what everyone is doing now as we approach our 40s?
Does it even matter?
The truth is … Yes.
No one had a perfect life in high school. And no one has a perfect life now.
Yet we all come from different walks of life. And that is what makes 20 years a perfect time to reflect.
Some people have said they want to forget their past and that attending a reunion just rehashes nasty memories of their childhood.
Some people have said that they didn’t form any bonds with those in high school at the time, so why should they attempt form bonds with these people now.
And that was me.
I was that girl.
My goodness, my dad was a junior high math teacher. There were days I wanted to find a new family because I was forever, “Mr. Naymik’s DAUGHTER.” I am pretty sure that identifier alone scared away 180 of the 200 classmates from 1996.
But now that we are T-minus 8 days away from the reunion, I am looking forward to it.
We owe it to ourselves to see how far we have come in the past 20 years.
It’s time to let bygones simply be that – bygones.
And I know it’s hard to do – trust me, I know.
But just last Friday, I saw hundreds of balloons being released for a 48-year-old Ohio State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty in Cuyahoga County. He was three days away from retirement. Today, hundreds of law enforcement vehicles lined a local road in his honor.
What Trooper Velez would have given for one more day …
One more day to keep our roads and cities safe.
One more day to spend with his children.
One more day to hang out with his friends at a local sports pub watching the Browns (lose).
One more day.
The people we were 20 years ago are gone.
And one day, we too will be wishing we had … one more day.
Melissa Linebrink is an award-winning blogger. Read her blog at http://parenthoodthenewcrazytrain.com. Follow her on Twitter @train_crazy or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ParenthoodthenewCrazyTrain/