About half of the attendees from the class of 1967 came to my Saturday morning book event. Some of the women there knew my mother while I was a college student, and recalled their own impressions of her. One friend, Ginny, visited me in Panama twice. She knew Minga during the Peace Corps years, and saw her again two years ago when Ginny visited me at the villa.
I read the opening pages of Good Daughter, Good Mother, which presents the contrast between Margaret, my mother, and Minga, a significant mothering presence in my life. We then moved to my chapter about our lives as college students. Rather than reading, I talked about how little we shared back then of what was really going on in our lives. Part of that was lack of skill in communicating our needs, Part was lack of confidence that we could ask for support and trust that it would be given. Part was the culture of the times. Part was the culture of the College. I opined that a 50th reunion is a kind of bookend between young adulthood and old age — and that if something remains unsaid among us, we should take the time to say it before the reunion breaks up on Sunday morning.
Good advice for any gathering, I’d say.