Back in the day..........waaaaaaaay back in the day there was a popular song called "Sentimental Journey." Those words and that tune popped into my head as I look forward to taking one of those sentimental journeys this week (D.V.). First, I'm headed to Jackson, MS, where my 90-year-old mother is in a nursing home and, most likely, is nearing the end of her life. My sister, who lives there, says she is going down a lot lately. Having been so far away for all the years of living in California this will definitely be a sentimental journey for it may be the last time I see my mother in this life. The time will be bittersweet, as always, because it has been several years since she has been able to communicate in any meaningful way with us. The last time I was there for a couple of days, earlier this year, she didn't even know I was there, at least, as far as I could tell. The stages and passages of life are bittersweet. I pray and hope she will recognize me this time and know that I was with her.
After seeing her comes another sentimental journey when I travel to Tupelo (that's right, me and Elvis) where my high school class of '65 is having a 60th birthday party. This is the year we all turn the big 6-0. I'm really looking forward to seeing those folks, most of whom I haven't seen in decades. One of the neat things about that group is how much love for them I have after all these years of separation. Actually, we were a rather great graduating class, pardon the pride.
What amazes me, as I contemplate this journey, is how utterly stereotypical I am of the person preparing to go to a class reunion. I'm thinking I need to lose a few pounds and hopefully get to within 50 pounds of my graduation weight. 50 lbs.!!!!!!!!!!! And I've already started to worry about not recognizing folks. In my mind's eye, they all look as they did in high school. Of course, they won't recognize me either. This is really too much confession but I had a nightmare last night about not recognizing people. OK, build a bridge. For now, I'm clinging to the hope that I am nothing more or less than normal.
Sentimental journeys are good for the soul. God has taken me down paths I never would have imagined while a student at THS. It's good to look back on those "olden days" (as my kids call them) with fondness and appreciation for the ones with whom I shared them. My greatest regret is that I was not more of an example of a true follower of Christ then. Perhaps God will grant me the grace of being one now and perhaps God will grant them the grace of forgetting some of my faults from days gone by.