Many years have passed. Most of you haven’t heard from me since the day we graduated from high school. When the powers that be closed the doors of our school forever that day, I closed the doors on my past. I left for another city and never returned to live in the area again.
Perhaps by now, all these years later, we have gained enough perspective to know that we were in a unique situation. 30 kids. Practically empty school. Teachers leaving us midway through the year (I had 18 study periods per week due to teacher attrition by that January). Parents fighting with each other and the organization to keep the school open. The tensions were high and our collective esteem was low.
Some of us may not want to be reminded of our time together in school. Some of us have kept in contact with a few good friends. I wanted to write you a short note to say that despite my absence, I think about all of us. I wonder how we are all finding our way through the world after leaving such an insular and ultimately devastating school experience. Perhaps most of you have fond memories that float above the painful ones, but I have yet to heal in some places. Opening the senior yearbook instantly transports me back into that desperate feeling of being trapped.
This doesn’t mean that I wanted to get away from all of you. Like many of us, my home situation mirrored the abandonment in our school environment. I was just counting down the days until I could get to some place where I felt wanted. Many of you tried to reach out to me, but it was too late; My eyes had been on the horizon since we were in 9th grade. I’m so sorry if anger at my situation came out on you. Looking back, it seems like many of us were feeling the exact same thing. I forgive you, and hopefully you can come to forgive me too.
We all may not be ready this year, or next, or even for yet another decade, but I’m asking those of us who still harbor pain, including myself, to begin to think about letting it go. Maybe if we let it go we can see each other again, we can talk and bring closure or new beginnings. I’m not saying that we will all be best friends; we never were. But maybe there is something left hanging for you, something that needs to be put to rest that can be. I don’t know if anything good will come of it. But I know we should try.
I truly hope you doing well. I look forward to hearing from you all someday.