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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Blast From the Past!


Today, in the middle of Stockholm, I met up with two people who graduated from my high school in the same year that I did...1978. The woman, Kim Day (Bastick), who now lives in South Africa, was a very close friend of mine in high school but somewhere along the way, we lost track of one another. Through the magic of Facebook, we re-connected on-line several months ago and it has been great getting some glimpses of her life. The man, John Gatchell, I did not know nor remember from high school. But again, through the magic of Facebook, he and Kim "friended" one another and from there proceeded to begin a brand new kind of real friendship that eventually led to Kim arriving in Stockholm to meet him and get some real face time, not just Facebook time! In our conversation today, John and I discovered that we grew up in homes that were in very close proximity. Our high school was quite large...about 550 kids in my graduating class, so it's not all that surprising that we didn't know one another. What is surprising is that some 32 years later, I am living in Stockholm and another person from my high school is living in Stockholm and another person from my high school, who now lives in South Africa, came to visit!
While it was certainly lovely to meet John and find out more about how things with him and Kim unfolded, it was amazing to reunite with Kim! I brought with me our senior year high school yearbook and we had some fun flipping through the pages. I had remembered that Kim and I first became good friends during our senior year Advanced Composition class with Mrs. Ching! I confess, I couldn't remember the teacher's name but looked her up in the yearbook! I loved that class and loved Mrs. Ching. She was a great writing teacher and it is kind of funny that Kim and I forged our friendship in that class as we both love writing and still dream of writing a book or two one day!
It was truly remarkable to sort of trace the past 32 years and figure out how we both ended up where we did and the twists and turns along the way. We've both had joy and both had heartache. It was so easy to talk. Felt like we just picked the sentence up right where we left it however many years ago. Very special when you experience that with a dear friend.
Kim has a 12 year old son, has survived colon cancer, buried both of her parents and still has sisters who live in Southern California. She ended up in South Africa after going down there to care for one of her sister's after she had been in a terrible car accident while on vacation. She was at a time in life where a change seemed like a good idea and one thing led to another and she got a job offer in Capetown! 20 years later, she still works for the same company.
Anyway...it was very fun to re-connect with people from my high school years. I've moved around so much, and my parents don't live where I grew up anymore so it means I don't really go back to that area very often. Not that many of classmates live there anymore anyway.
After attending my 30 year high school reunion 2 years ago, I have reconnected with a few people with whom I really had treasured relationships. And of course, through the magic of Facebook, I am getting glimpses of their lives on a regular basis.
I loved high school so my memories of that season in life are wonderful. Kim was a special friend to me. We became close friends quickly and shared our lives on a deep and abiding level. It was fun to read together what she had written in my yearbook! I would love to see what I had written in hers!
I am very thankful that she ended up in Stockholm for a visit with John and that we could share this afternoon together. I look forward to seeing what the next 32 years bring to each of our lives!