The song “Reunited” by Peaches & Herb brings back memories and so do reunions.
Story: Debbi Kiddy
Whether it’s a family, high school, college, military, or some other reunion, reuniting with those from our past stirs emotions and memories. Most are fond and happy recollections of school days, such as the special people and groups we joined in athletics, music, service, or social clubs. Some are bittersweet, reminiscing about those who are no longer with us or we have simply lost touch. Either way, reunions bring back thoughts of the past and anticipation of rekindled friendships.
I traveled to Nashville to my college alma mater in November and the weekend was packed! Not only packed with my suitcase of “just the right” clothes and accessories, and packed with activities planned to keep us engaged, entertained, and inspired to endow our future financial support—but also packed with memories of people, places and events.
As I enjoyed the variety show on Friday night, nostalgia transported me to the many “firsts” experienced on this campus.
First time away from home, first time to live in a dorm, first roommate, first time to do my own laundry, first time to fall in love, first major broken heart.
My first date on campus was a cute southern boy who called and asked to “carry me out” on Friday night. Wanting to be “witty” I responded, “Well, if you can pick me up, I guess you can carry me out!” Cultural diversity—another new “first.”
My first travel experiences were to destinations I never dreamed I would visit, like Niagara Falls, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. for national speech tournaments. I remember a dedicated professor who spent weekends away from his family to coach and mentor young speakers who went on to become talented teachers, business managers, and ministers.
Every spring break I traveled with our concert choir throughout the southeast to recruit future students and raise funds for the college. I remember two talented professors who traveled with us and taught us harmony—in song and in living—both on campus and abroad.
My first trip outside the United States was a European tour through eight countries during the first summer after freshman year. Traveling with classmates to London, Paris, Rotterdam, Munich, and more taught me many “first” lessons outside the classroom.
Though, like all of us, I can recall a few “bitter” first lessons, like feeling left out by some who thought they were better than others, but I also remember more about the hospitality of strangers in a foreign land, and the sweet patience, kindness, humor, and love between dear friends, mentors, and professors I still cherish today.
Thanks for the memories and I look forward to seeing all of you at our next reunion. As Elvis sang, “I’ll remember you.”