Recognize this place?
According to Tony Bennett, many of us leave our hearts here.
In my case, this city holds a special place in my heart. I left many beautiful friends there. Of the group I know, all but two of us remained in the Bay Area. Some were kindergarten classmates. A few of us received our First Holy Communion and our Confirmation together. Many of us went through elementary school and onto Catholic High School "joined at the hip." So, yes, there's a bond.
I made a promise to myself five years ago after burying my mother in San Francisco's (Colma) Holy Cross Cemetery (she joined my Dad who died 9 years prior): I would make an annual Spring sojourn to S.F., not only to place flowers at my parents' grave but to keep a connection with the girls I grew up with.
After three days of updating one another on our lives, families, ambitions and our beliefs, I left feeling rejuvenated by the beauty of the city and with a renewed appreciation for friendships established long ago.
It's a unique city. It's a unique bond.
We all knew one another's parents; played in the neighborhoods of S.F. together; learned our way around the city as kids on public transportation; bumbled our way through the teen years side by side; broke rules and kept secrets; shed tears and laughed until we cried (and, well, okay, we got into trouble together).
Through it all we have come out on the other side of age 50.
I spent time on the return trip to Portland contemplating how and why we have become the adults we are.
One thing I do know for sure. We each had a hand at one point in time in "raising one another."
There's a lot to be said for that.
We agreed we'd set our sights on another "city by the water" next year for our 40th high school reunion.
New York City, here we come!