Hometown lifetime sisterhood was what I experienced at my 50th High School Reunion. It was in a small town I use to call home from 1958 to 1970, a farming and industrial community located ninety miles southwest of Chicago.
The sisterhood vowed that when I left for Kansas City that we would always stay in touch with each other. We have kept that vow for fifty plus years. Several of my friends were born and raised in or around our small town, I was born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa in 1950 so I was a transplant. My father had found a new job in this town so we packed up and arrived in 1958.
I started second grade and felt scared of starting school, which meant I had to make new friends all over again. One day a classmate of mine wanted to know if we could be friends, I was so happy because I finally felt comfortable in being in a new school. As we moved from grade school to middle school I meant other girlfriends. Now there were several of us to hang around together.
The sisterhood went through four years of high school together, we enjoyed different things and had different interests, but we always checked in with each other. We went to dances, pep rallies, football games, basketball games, and club activities. We shared the high school years with each other when we needed boyfriend advice or a shoulder to cry on after a breakup. We always knew that we had a friend to talk to no matter what happened to us.
We graduated from high school in June 1969, some of us went to college, some of us got jobs and some got married. We always managed to send Christmas cards to each other for about forty years until the age of computers came around. We always sent pictures of our children to each other and birth announcements. Some of us have been through divorce and some have been married for decades.
Over the years we have attended many high school reunions, and like always we get together and talk and reminisce, and never skip a beat from the last time we were together.
We now have reached the age in which we would experience the death of our parents or siblings and friends we knew so well from our graduating class. The tone maybe a little more somber but the connectedness of the sisterhood is still alive and well. We have each other like we did so many years ago just starting out as girlfriends and had no idea that this friendship would last for over fifty years. We decided this time that we needed to see each other sooner rather than later and so we will.
I have often spoken to other people about this extraordinary group of friends and people either agree that they have the same in their lives or that they wished they would have kept up with their childhood friends. I am certainly grateful for my friendships for I have learned so much from them over the years. In my opinion, they are as valuable as family.
As we drove away that Sunday morning to return home, I glanced at the city park, the old St. Mary’s Church, Main Street and crossed over the bridge headed out of town with a tear in my eye for days gone by but looking forward to the next time the sisterhood will reunite once more.