For the few that don't know, this is Spreckelsville Baby Beach. Right down the street from my mom's house where I grew up.
We'll be home on Maui for a week and the main reason we are going now is for the Seabury Hall reunion. My 25th, Jen's 30th. There will be a bunch of people from various classes in between '80 and '85 who I haven't seen in 25-30 years. I'm really looking forward to it and at the same time know it's going to be really hard. Who knows if Jen would have come to Maui for this or not. (She hated to fly.) if she decided to come, that would have been a great reason for us to go. I'm mostly going because she's not here and many of her friends will be there.
Saturday is the reunion and the first thing scheduled at 4:30 is a memorial for those who have died in the last few years. I'll be there with Kurt (of course) and my Mom and Mom's high school friend Jackie, someone Jen and I knew since we were born. It's going to be hard and wonderful and really hard. The woman who is organizing the reunion asked for photos of Jen to show at the memorial. I sent some and Mom sent some. She also asked if we wanted to say something or read a poem or something. Mom said she would. I said I couldn't. I can't. I sort of want to but am too sadangryexhaustedpissedoffdistraughtbesidemyself to do it.
Just driving onto the Seabury campus makes me emotional beyond belief. I love that place. All of that is true even without Jen having died.
Now. Now there is Snooker to miss deeply and Bruce and Jai too. Not to mention David Melrose. (I dreamed of David not long after he died. I dreamt I was on campus and saw him there, but knew he was dead. It was wonderful to think of him still on campus, smiling and laughing.) This was a tiny school and all the people there, whether I knew them well or not, were all important to me. They all played amazing huge roles in my life, more so than they might even guess if they were still here to read this. The 7th graders, Michelle and Shannon, during one of my last lunches as a student there, who surprised me with a big carnation lei to say thanks for being their friend. That was such an amazing moment, I won't forget it for the rest of my life. And Charlotte Melrose who singled me out during Valentine's Day Chapel, 1985 to say that I was a great example of what love is. OH MY GOD. For the few who might know Charlotte, you know what that means to me. For you who don't know her, I can only liken it to...to...to having Shakespeare call you a good writer, or having Neil Armstrong call you an amazing astronaut.
(I'll just pause here to say: You only get out of it what you put into it.)
So just being on campus is heart tugging enough. Never mind that I spent my first year there as Jen's little sister. Tears are coming. Many many tears. Thank goodness there is time between the memorial and the reunion party to clean up my eye make up and pull myself together.
And it's not just that we will be there in a couple of days. No. It's been going on for a year. April of 2009 I saw Courtney for the first time in probably 20 years. Then in Summer of last year I saw Steve -- also for the first time in about 20 years. Tears of joy. Courtney joined us and it was a blast. I had seen Kevin a bunch over the years and he was in LA around that time too. Then this year I got to see Lance and Ellen and tomorrow I will have lunch with Lehn. Those three are teachers at Seabury -- the teachers all mean the world to me too. Great supportive amazing people I was lucky enough to be teamed with in high school. Speaking of great teachers, Friday night Maria and Fred will be at my mom's house for the small party we are throwing. Haven't seen them in 20 years either. Did I mention tears? Tears.
The reason all this is coming up tonight is because I'll be seeing Lehn tomorrow in LA. She is a wonderful person and great teacher (I can still see her clear neat handwriting on the chalkboard) but more than anything -- when I went home three weeks after Jen died, to be with my mom on Mother's Day on Maui, we went to the Seabury Craft Fair and I saw one or two people there I knew, but not many. Then I was in the courtyard and turned around and there was Lehn. She took one look at me and all she did was hug me and that just burst the dam of tears. She held me and held me.
How many of you went to a school where 24 years after you graduated, your European History teacher, who heard recently of the death of your sister, would just hug you and comfort you without saying a word, on the very campus where you met, all those years ago? Honestly, I have some SERIOUS angels looking out for me and don't think I don't appreciate it EVERY DAY. I do.
So yeah. Maui this week. Relaxing and emotionally brutal and cleansing. Luckily I can just sleep and relax and walk on that beach every morning.