Just finished hosting the yearly get-together of my small group of close High School friends on the Oregon Coast. There were eight of us at first, but we lost one along the way. Literally. He disappeared and has never resurfaced. The remaining seven have been reuniting each summer since the early nineties after we all finished school/military/whatever and moved to Washington, Maryland, Ohio, Colorado and Illinois (those two stayed close to the old home town). Much of the time, we all made it to the reunions. But sometimes one or more of us couldn’t make it for a variety of reasons.
Still, we kept the tradition alive. Young at heart, young forever.
Next year, we will return to our hometown for our 50 year high school reunion. So this year was the lead up to that. Everyone was coming out except for the one who won’t fly and won’t leave home except for short distance. (I didn’t say we were normal guys; I just said we were close friends.) So five were set to come here. Then one discovered he had skin cancer issues that required surgery and a period of recover, and he was out. Then another got sick the night before leaving, and he was out. A third delayed his arrival so his wife could join us.
We were down to three. We talked about the others and we talked about ourselves – mostly in terms of how our health had deteriorated and we weren’t who we once were.
We had become our fathers.