One of the most defining things of my life was my high school education. I attended Gwynedd Mercy Academy, a small private girls' school in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Mercy was an incredibly special place. There was a spirit that I cannot define but that seeped into our souls through those four years. It has remained with me for the 40 years since and is one of the guiding lights of my life.
I am saddened and thoughtful today as one of my classmates has died. She was not "one of my friends" in the expected high school sense of the word, but she is totally a part of my life because we shared those four years. Having a class of 75 girls means we all know one another in a way that those from larger schools probably cannot ever understand. Our class is very special and have stayed friends throughout the long years since graduation.
So I have come smack up against the painful but inevitable reality that death comes to us all and that I have reached the age where I will no longer only be burying the parents of friends. My time is coming, and that of those whom I have known all my life and who are my age. It is not a pleasant reality.
I have enjoyed the many reunions our class has had over the years. It is always good to get together whether in a large group or one-on-one. It seems the older we get, the more we like one another- a wonderful phenomenon.
Tomorrow I will be seeing many of my classmates in a new setting- saying goodbye to one of us. For the very first time, I am not looking forward to our being together because of the reason. At the same time, I *am* looking forward to it, because I know I will be proud at how we will be together for our lost friend, for her family, and for each other. I thank God every day for the gift of those four years, of the Sisters, of the ideas and ideals we learned then, and of these wonderful women who continue to be my classmates and friends.
14 hours ago