Different things trigger different memories and emotions for different people.
I went home to Eufaula Saturday night for my 33rd high school reunion. I am a proud graduate of The Lakeside School, class of 1979. We do multiple class reunions at Lakeside, a small private school that draws students from Lumpkin to Pittsview.
I am not a big class reunion guy. Never have been. I have spent 33 years trying to forget high school. I wasn't a good athlete, but I loved the games. I certainly wasn't a good student because my study habits left a lot to be desired.
I was the guy that got by. I wasn't going to fail, but I certainly wasn't going to excel.
So, with that frame of mind, I entered my class reunion at a home beautifully situated on the end of St. Francis Point with a view of the lake as a cool breeze blew through.
The highlight of the reunion for me was when I was able to corner Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Dickert, both outstanding English teachers who tried to help chart my course. I had them both several times through my nine years at Lakeside.
Both educators still live in Eufaula and know what career path I selected.
With a beer in my hand, I sought them out.
"I'm the last guy y'all figured would make a living writing, right?"
They both laughed, then rapidly agreed.
"You never liked English," Mrs. Dickert responded.
She pegged it.
I then told them fortunately for me, English and journalism are sometimes very different things.
From there, the rest of the night was something I just as soon forget. I saw some old friends I rarely see. I saw some folks I have not seen in 33 years. I saw some I don't know well but know everything about them because we have connected on Facebook.
You see, different things trigger different emotions for different people.
Almost 10 years ago, my brother Chip died of a heart attack. At 40, he was gone. He left a wife and two beautiful daughters who have since become beautiful young women. I have watched my family struggle with his loss.
Chip was 15 months younger than me. We were a year apart in high school and college.
Many of my friends were his friends and vice versa. A lot of those people were there Saturday night. Early on, one of our friends said a blessing and then called out the names of those in each class who had died.
I am sure I wasn't the only one who hurt. Mrs. Thomas lost a son a few years ago, and Channing's name was on the list.
Death is a fact of life, but sometimes the natural order gets twisted.
In that setting, I was struck by the memories of my brother. About halfway through, I kind of shut it down. I had spoken with many of the folks I wanted to see.
As I left, I made a vow. That was my last high school reunion. I won't ever do that again.
Different things trigger different emotions for different people.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, email@example.com.