About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, October 15, 2012

High School Reunion

After much internal debate and in spite of high anxiety, Saturday night I conquered a looming fear. I didn't scale a mountain or jump out of a plane, but for me the accomplishment was nearly as grand. I gathered up all my courage and proudly walked into my 20 year high school reunion.

High school was not an easy time for me. I wasn't considered a nerd or a geek; those labels would have been a promotion. I was invisible.

I was the girl who looked familiar yet nobody really knew. I never had a date, never attended a dance, and I was not invited to parties. My Mom never worried about me being tempted by peer pressure. I had no friends to sway me to experiment to break rules. Needless to say, I never got into trouble!

During my freshman year I became ill. What we thought was a flu turned into what was conjectured to be mono. I'll spare all of the details, but I remained sick until my Junior year. By the time I did return in a full-time capacity, friendships and the peer hierarchy had been established. My self-esteem had been shattered throughout my medical ordeal, leaving me a shell of the person that I was when I first became sick.

In retrospect it's easy to see why I didn't belong to a peer group. Between doctor visits and hospital stays, my priorities had become different than those of the average teenager. I had lost the ability to relate to my classmates, and I didn't know how to find a common ground. 

Instead of trying to fit in, I retreated. I became uncomfortably shy and reserved. I was miserable throughout my senior year. I eagerly anticipated my graduation day not because it was an opportunity to celebrate my accomplishments, but because I knew that once I left, I would be liberated and free to be myself.

Typically I have ignored the invitations to my high school reunions. Until this year, I had no interest in seeing anybody from that time of my life. However, this time I felt the need to find closure. Maybe I'm finally becoming secure enough in myself to confront the demons of my past.

Saturday night, I was shaking as I walked into the reunion. Scott sensed my anxiety and headed straight for the bar, providing me with a steady supply of liquid courage. I can't say that I was comfortable during the evening, but I'm also not sure that comfort was an achievable goal. I enjoyed reconnecting and learning about everybody. I was reminded during the evening that in spite of losing my leg, I have a wonderful life!

I'm glad that I went to the reunion. Not only did I get to see some people I have wondered about, I was able to conquer my adolescent insecurities. I realized that everybody blossoms at a different time in life. High school is simply a snapshot of four awkward years, and I am so much more than that shy teenage girl with the frizzy perm. I am not the same person I was back in 1992. I have aged well.


  1. I think we all had a little bit of the same fears Peggy. At least I did. I was present for the four years of high school and I still felt invisible. Like you, I was not considered a nerd but I was no where near popular status. I did make some friendships that have stood the test of time and then some others that have fizzled out over the years. I knew of you in high school. I really wish we would have become friends then. I'm glad you came Saturday night. It was great seeing you. And I agree completely, you are aging very very well. :)

  2. At my 25th reunion, my classmates presented my with a check for my son's medical fund. Over $5,000 from fellow graduates. People I feared in high school, helped my family in our time of need. They wrote the most touching notes.... many remember things I did for them in high school... others apologized for making fun of my weight... others offered prayers.... Peggy you are so right... high school is a traumatizing time for many... yet over time... all the vinegar can turn to fine wine.