Sunday, June 14, 2009

15 years

It was called to my attention earlier this week that it has been 15 years since we graduated from high school. Since we walked across that stage, and waved goodbye to Simi High for the last time. 15 years! Has it really been that long?

Obviously it has. While I certainly don't feel 15 years older than I did then, the sheer number of things that have happened in our lives dictate that at least that much time must have passed. College, distance, marriage, cancer, law school, CPA exams, moving 3 times, and 4 kids. That kind of stuff doesn't just happen in a couple of years.

Our senior year of high school started out fairly uneventfully. Tom and I had already been together for a year and a half when it began. We had both basically decided where we wanted to go to college, and just needed to finish up the last year of high school. Do the obligatory things, like work a part time job, go to lots of football games and go to the prom.

Things were chugging along until about 4am in the morning one day in January, 1994. The Northridge earthquake. We would realize later how fortunate we were to be home, and not at school when it struck. The concrete overhangs around most of the buildings at school collapsed and the damage was substantial. We were not allowed back into school. Our senior year of high school, and we weren't allowed back.

For a few months, we split schedules with the other, rival, high school in town. They went in the morning, we went in the afternoon. The teachers tried to salvage what they could educationally during that time, no small feat considering that most of the books and supplies were locked inside our school. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we went back to our campus. But it just seemed different. Less safe.

Our prom was moved too
, and we had it in an earthquake damaged hotel in the Valley. We had to walk through scaffolding and tarps to get to the ballroom. It was an interesting way to finish up the year, that is for sure.

15 years have passed, and it seems strange to me. In so many ways, it feels like we were just there. But other times, it seems like a fading distant memory. I was different then. Tom was different then. Young and naive, with no clue about what the future would hold for us. One thing has remained the same though - us. I am pretty sure that we are the couple from high school that has been together the longest.

You can't go back to high school. I certainly would never want to. Truth be told, I didn't like high school all that much. The cliques and the drama and the social awkwardness. No thanks. Wasn't much for that stuff the first time around. Simi High will always hold a special place in my heart, though. Not for the things I learned there, but for who I met.

Hail to thee, Oh Simi High School
We'll be ever true
To your honor and traditions
True our whole lives through
Hail to thee, O Simi High School
We will ever praise
We will cherish our dear memories
All our live-long days

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