Yesterday my mother, Helen Yonge Lind, attended her 80th high school reunion at the Kamehameha Schools annual alumni luau. At least it has been on her schedule and she has been looking forward to it.
To tell the truth, I don’t know of there’s anyone else still living from her Kamehameha Class of 1931, and it’s the earliest class on the photo schedule. We do know, though, that she was the oldest graduate planning on attending the event.
Last woman standing? Perhaps.
Last Thanksgiving, I asked her about her years at Kamehameha and the result was a short, 4-minute video. Very interesting.
The lead-up to this alumni luau was also a reminder accommodations need to be made for those ahead of us in age.
For example, the published schedule for class photographs was in chronological order, with the combined classes of 1931, 1936, and 1941 leading it off at 2:30 p.m. and other classes to follow, with most recent grads latest in the afternoon.
My sister, Bonnie, finally had to call the powers that be up at the school to say there was no way for our 97-year old mother to arrive for photos at 2:30 and then have to wait around for a luau where food wouldn’t even begin to be served until 5:30. She would be tired and have to leave before the festivities even started. Instead, mother decided to skip the photo.
Then, after months of saying the 2:30 picture time was cast in concrete, they finally called to say it had been moved to 4:30. That, Bonnie said, mother agreed to do. But it’s clear she was afraid of running out of energy.
But I have a feeling that being the oldest graduate attending the event in a culture which traditionally values older people would provide her a boost of energy.
In any case, I have to wait until a reasonable hour to call over and find out how it all went.
*Update: When you’re done, read my sister’s account of the event. Big hint–All went wonderfully! And, yes, by all accounts, she’s the oldest living graduate of Kamehameha.