It’s a bittersweet experience looking at the sudden flurry of photos and statuses on my Facebook wall after my Highschool’s reunion after twenty years. I wish I had been there to meet my old friends, but I simply couldn’t afford it – after travelling to Indonesia earlier last month for Papa’s funeral. The life that I lead is certainly different to the one that I had in Singapore, where I would easily plan a major trip, pay the tickets in full, and never to worry about the consequences.
Thank goodness for Facebook though – even without the reunion, I can see how the years have treated my friends in their profile page. I can also see the photos from the reunion and have my own private laughs and chuckles looking at the faces. Those who I used to envy or idolise seem so ordinary now – they age just as I do. The old puppy-love crush objects seem just like any other folks that you would bump into on the streets. Some of the fellow students who used to be the in-crowd still vainly try to hang on to the lost years, while those who allow the years to shape them, seem to have a glow of wisdom and experience about them. I was never in the in-crowd. I wasn’t sporty and the only things that I could talk about during those years were my study, the books that I read, and computer games and programming. Yeap, I was a nerd. If I had been there, they would probably wonder what had happened to me as well. I used to be so thin and gangly and now the years have padded me with extra fat. 😀 Had I been able to come to the reunion, I would show my friends that this nerd has now blossomed into … a stocky ex-banker academic *laugh*.
I wonder if I would be able to go to the next reunion – I hope so. For the next reunion, we will probably start to remember those who have gone before us and see the wrinkly faces around the room – our teachers would’ve long gone and we would become an image of our parents: silver-haired mums and dads who celebrate a couple of hours to reminisce about our youth. I suppose reunions also remind us about the one-way journey that we are embarking: time is dragging us forward. Some are going willingly, some are kicking and screaming, wanting to hold on to the past. This year has also taught me about life’s journey especially. If last year we experienced a lot of major catastrophes, it seems that 2011 is teaching us to be thankful about personal things that matter. As you know, I lost my Dad last month. I also lost a friend who used to study in Adelaide in the early 1990’s. He was only 40 years old – he had a heart attack while driving in Solo, Central Java. He left behind his wife and two children. Another friend is also praying for her mum who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. My sister also told me about my distant nephew’s early departure at 19 years of age – the only son in the family. Life is precious.
This is when I can truly appreciate the value of eternity – where we are not pushed and prodded by a series of number that goes from one to twenty-four, or by an arrow that revolves steadily between one and sixty. We can enjoy the moment for what it’s worth. Perhaps you may say – oh no here we go again, the spiritual mumbo jumbo talk. 🙄 I honestly refuse to think that life ceases to exist once we physically die. There is a continuation after the moment the little green dot flatlines. I also believe that whatever happens afterwards relies a lot on what we believe or do here and now.
I just can’t wait for the big reunion through all eternity. I would probably not reminisce about my past life but I would enjoy the moment for what it is – see the faces of my loved ones who have gone before me, and especially see the face of the One on whom my faith is built. Jesus.