This year I attended the Shaker Heights High School class of 1981 reunion. This is where I would have graduated from had we not broken free of my father and his grasp and escaped from Shaker Heights. My main object in going was to have a look see at the men and women who were the boys and girls that were my classmates in elementary school and junior high.
Leaving Shaker was the right thing to do. I never fit in because I never understood who I was or how I fit in. In Marion, I knew instantly who I could be and for the first time in life possibilities ran toward the possible instead of from the inevitable.
So when my step sister (who was my classmate long before we discovered our shared connection through her birth mother and my father) invited me - part of me thought it great, the other part of me wondered what I would find.
I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect, and that was a good thing to accept. People were not as I remembered them because we don't stay 14 years old forever - and aren't we glad of that?
But the trip did one thing - it allows me to closed a book written on the winds of what should have been, what could have been if the world was different. The world is what is - we get one go around, and if we spend it pining for the things that were promised and left unfulfilled, then we miss out on the people and places and events and things that are really important. I went back a man with love in his heart, a career spent in service in others, a respected man in my true hometown and someone who isn't afraid of what others can do to me.
Now I get to look forward to my real High School Renion, with people who have been my real friends, in September.
To those who made my evening enjoyable, thank you. For those who bullied me in school and ignored me tonight, I survived. And for myself - I did something that few ever get to do: look back and see how lucky I really am.