I had trouble sleeping again last night. I wish that I could identify the reason I am not sleeping, but so far it has eluded me. I checked my FaceBook in the middle of the night and found out that a high school classmate of mine passed away. I remember him from 1st grade onward although we were not always the best of friends. He was a great guy; he had a wonderful sense of humor, and I never recall anyone saying a negative word about him. Reading the news made me think about things.
I left my hometown after high school and never really returned there. College and then various jobs followed by the Navy allowed me to see the world that so many of my classmates only dreamed of seeing. I began reconnecting with some people from my school, and I found that the vast majority had never left our hometown. I feel sad for them about that. I know that they were happy in the sense that they started families and worked at careers like everyone else, but I remember my parents telling me that I should get away from there and not look back because there is a wonderful world to be experienced.
I was not surprised at how reactionary and conservative many of my classmates had become over the years. I could have ended up that way if I had stayed. For that reason, I am glad that I left. The people who left home and didn’t go back are the ones that have proven the most successful and open-minded. That brings me to the real point.
So many of my classmates are gone now. The overwhelming majority of those remained in our hometown after graduation. I am not suggesting that there is something poisonous or toxic in the environment there, but I have to wonder about how remaining there affected those classmates who have passed away? Perhaps it is the never-ending grind and routine of things that never change that wears them down so quickly; I don’t know. I wish that I did because it hurts to know that people I grew up with are dying so young.