I have a former co-worker and friend who is older than I am. In fact, he is 14 years old than I am, but somehow we are great friends, who share a lot of laughs and even more stories. A couple of years ago he went to his 25th high school reunion. The Monday after the reunion, I asked him all about it. I had my 10 year reunion the year before and it was fun. I was pregnant with Chase, happily married to my high school sweetheart, a great job, and not a care in the world. My buddy, had a different experience. He talked about how the 10 year is really just like the infancy of adulthood. But the 25 year reunion was different, he told me people had changed, almost all of them had faced “the bear.”
My 29 year old self didn’t really know how to take that. We had several people who had passed away in our class, but most of that had happened while we were in high school or in college. The bear? What was that? He went on to talk about life, the goods and bad parts, and more than likely everyone will face the bear.
I realize this is only 2 years later, but I feel like I have faced the bear. I feel like I have learned that life is not always fun and fair. That there are lousy things that happen to people. I hope when I go to my 25th I can help other people who are just now facing the bear. The loss of a job, a parent, or a spouse. We will hopefully be over a decade away from that part in our life, but we survived. We faced it, stared it down and we’re still standing.