REUNION REFLECTIONS

PICTURE WITH MY MOTHER IN MY CORNELL DORM ROOM

Reunions are strange happenings. I graduated from the Cornell University – New York Hospital School of Nursing in 1959. The Nursing  program at that time was a five year program – 2 years of college and three of nursing led to a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

When I attended my 5th year reunion where our class was honored – along with all the other classes divisible by five  – the graduates of 60 years previously seemed so old to me! Now as I made preparations to attend my own 60th reunion luncheon, I questioned what it would feel like. There were 90 in our first year class – by the time of graduation we were down to 76 – I wondered how many would attend – how many were still alive.  Our two class secretaries made an enthusiastic pitch for this gathering of recollection. 

I clearly remember our 25th reunion.  There was a good turnout. Our class was seated at a rectangular table.  These shapes of table are not conducive to conversation with those at the other end of the table where my close friends were seated. Next to me was a gal whom I barely knew my whole time at Cornell.  Not only were we not on the same floor in the dorm but also when after the first few months of concentrated academic work we began our clinical rotations we never once followed the same schedule. I was kind of bummed since I wanted to catch up on the doings of my friends. But then we started talking and she was delightful. We actually had a lot in common and the luncheon time just flew by. I never saw her again because she did not live close and she never came to another reunion. 

For this reunion I personally encouraged two good friends with whom I have stayed in contact to attend – we ended up with nine from our year. Looking through some old Cornell papers in preparation for the event I was reminded that at the time of graduation  I was the class Vice President – something that I had totally forgotten. It made me wonder if that forgetting was symbolic of the fact that my life had had so much richness and diversity and joys and not so joyful times since graduation that what was I trying to recapture by attending – seeing my  special friends? – it didn’t need a reunion to make that happen. 

Reunions are nice – but…………………..

The reunion was in New York City in one of the private lounges at the hospital – it lasted for several hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the reunion  – hearing what my classmates were dong ; getting the latest updates in the medical field. I loved seeing my close friends and several other gals whose friendships are important to me.  The actual reunion was intense and satisfying, but it was enough of looking back.

Who knows if I will be around for the 65tth or the 70th reunion. Or if I will even want to attend. Reunions are also a mortality check. . 

Reunions are nice but…………..

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