Yesterday, I was screwing around on FB and saw a link to some page or other having to do with my old alma mater, which led me to a page that was designed to pay tributes to schoolmates that had passed on. So, I skipped over there and scrolled down through the posts, wondering if I'd see anyone I knew.
And I saw too many names I knew.
I already knew about the twin who committed suicide in his brother's garage, and the girl who got hit crossing a busy highway when she stopped on the yellow line.
Seeing old teachers' and staff names seemed natural enough. After all, it's been 26 years and most of them weren't spring chickens even then.
The art teacher who called me by my sister's name and got irritated
when I didn't answer her. We finally managed a truce my fourth year in
The chem teacher I had for advanced biology. The English teacher. The lunch lady. The bus driver. The middle school principle.
Others were a shock.
There was our class president who became a surgeon. I kissed him a couple times, but it was for the class play where we played a married couple, so it doesn't count. He died at 39, leaving behind his model-pretty wife and their three kids.
There was the guy who was one of the trio me and my friends chased around the playground in 3rd grade playing 'catch 'em and kiss 'em.' I always remember him as being extremely nice.
There was the gal I saw at our 10 year class reunion - the one who had a baby our junior year. She was a nurse.
And the gal I knew from working on the Arabian horse farm. Her family raised and trained pintos.
The one guy whose parents owned the local pig farm is gone. Nice guy. Very shy. And because he never seemed to be able to get the smell of the farm out of his clothes, very lonely.
The guy I went to kindergarten with who missed a grade, so he graduated the following year. I remember more about him from elementary than the other years. He'll always be young and skinny and kind of a pain.
None of them were close friends, but still... I dread the day when I hear one of my close friends has gone - even though we lost touch a really long time ago.
I guess it's not as many as I thought last night. It was just a blow, because I don't think of any of us as being old enough to die. And yet, they almost could've added my name to that list. Accidents happen.
To those fallen classmates from another life, I'd just like to say: "Bye, guys. Thanks for the memories - the good ones, the happy ones, the not-so-nice ones. Those memories all contributed at some point to who I ended up being."