We woke early on Sunday morning after working to clear everything out of the ballroom after midnight the night before. Too excited about the evening to get much sleep, and the bed and pillow were too soft.
We had said we’d try to get together in the lounge between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning to say our final farewells.
We arrived to find some of the gals had stayed up all night talking. They said they were tired but happy. A few said they’d had a bit too much to drink the night before. (I heard a rumor that a diehard group closed the hotel bar earlier that morning.)
Most everyone was still on a high after all the fun and laughter from the big celebration. And it seemed as though none of us wanted to waste a minute of spending time together. Various groups connected one last time.
We still had one box of AHS t-shirts out of the original four left over, so we took them down and offered them to whoever wanted them. By the end of the morning, we only had a few left. (As of today, I have only one unspoken for and one spoken for out of the approximately 120 sent from the school. They were all XL or XXL, so we figured some would remain. But they were also very nice shirts, so people took advantage of the opportunity to have one.)
Once again, as happened all weekend, our friends took advantage of the opportunity to reconnect to others they might have missed the night before and to spend a bit more time with old friends.
I saw a few I had missed and enjoyed every minute with them. We ordered breakfast, but I ate very little of mine as I spotted additional folks I had to greet.
And still, I missed a few.
The time finally came to clean out the workroom, check out, load the van, and head home. Saying goodbye was bittersweet. We all agreed ten years was far too long to wait to get together again. Some of the grammar school groups and others were already planning for future meetings.
We arrived home exhausted and had hoped to get in a nap, but a couple of classmates who live nearby arrived in the afternoon. Our two out-of-town friends wanted to spend more time with us, and we felt the same way. So before they left, we made plans to tour Mission San Juan Capistrano the following day and have lunch together.
Larry and I always enjoy escorting people around ‘our’ mission. After doing all the research for our book, The Memory Keeper, we have a new appreciation for the history of San Juan Capistrano, and in particular, the mission. While showing the others around, we ran into another out-of-town couple who had decided to extend the reunion into a road trip. On their way south, they decided to stop by the mission.
The reunion continues. Quite a few friends have gotten together following the weekend. We’ve seen several ourselves and enjoyed dinner last Friday night with two of them.
The whole experience has made me ask myself why I let so many years pass without getting together with precious friends. Who do you miss today? Why not give them a call.
Next week: Final special memory snapshots.