My High School’s Gone
I was sitting in a taxi last week, on my way to the funeral for the mother of an old friend. Driving down Baseline Road, I was shocked to see the rubble of what used to be my old high school. I knew its days were numbered, but had not quite contemplated the finality of the demolition plan. In a flash, I was transported back to that last day of high school so many years ago. Photos of six teenage girls playing skip rope and posing on the lawn of the building that was our home away from home. Then, it was over. We scattered to pursue adult dreams. University, marriage, travels, babies, and new partnerships. Like the ebb and flow of the sea, we parted, returned, left again and re-connnected. One day, we united in the sombre reality that we had turned 40. When one of the group died, we suddenly become much older.
In that brief moment driving past the rubble, I regretted not having called the group weeks earlier to propose we get together for a final photograph in front of our old high school. My taxi pulled up to the funeral chapel and there stood one of the “girls”, waiting for another who was coming up the walk-way. The friend whose mother had died heard our voices and rushed out to greet us. We were, once again, reunited. We went inside and found seats together. The sermon began. And I thought to myself the following: this moment in time is more real and more relevant than a photo of old friends in front of a building all boarded up.