Family Reunion!

This weekend, I was blessed to return to my hometown of Tallahassee and catch up with family.

Now, this isn’t “family” in the traditional sense of the word. Some families you are born into. Others you acquire through marriage. And then, if you are very fortunate, some family is chosen for you.

I graduated high-school in a tiny class. Instead of hundreds of students, there were only forty-eight of us. A dozen of those I met in kindergarten.

Our school was small. It was the kind of school where everyone literally knew everyone else. You knew them, their siblings and probably their parents as well.

It was a simple time when the jocks were jocks without the nerds walking in fear of them.

It was an era where the “board of education” hung on a wall. Some may scoff, but the kids that came out of “The High” had a credible respect for authority and grew up to be respectable adults.

Our teachers were more like mothers. There was always the fear they would see your real mother and tell them everything you were up to.

In a school that didn’t have the latest and greatest equipment, we learned to make the best of what we had and didn’t allow what we didn’t have to stand as an excuse between where we were and where we wanted to be. Truth be told, I don’t think we were aware we were lacking anything!

Those halls were filled with love and laughter. Fights were physical but quickly resolved.

No guns, no knives.

Our cafeteria’s food was cooked with love. Homemade cinnamon rolls, pot pies, and peach cobbler. The smells of which I’ll never forget.

We learned to sit still during assemblies where we would pray. We said the pledge of allegiance every morning.

May Days and Maypoles.

 Life was simple then. We didn’t know how good we had it.

But now we do.

Thirty years later we look back at those times and laugh. We laugh at how blissfully unaware we were, oblivious to how rare it was to have classmates that were like sisters and brothers.

Those same “siblings” were there for me when I buried my parents. We pray for one another. I’m confident my classmates would tend to my kids in an emergency and welcome them with open arms if for some reason I couldn’t reach them.

This weekend, I was blessed to reminisce about old times and share some new. There was laughter. Yet, there were also tears for the classmates no longer with us. Still, through the process of coming together, many of us were able to “reconnect, release and rebuild.”

And, most importantly, there was love.

Love for one another and love for the institution that brought us together and keeps us together as friends and family, brothers and sisters.

That is something to be grateful for.

Florida A & M University Developmental Research School Class of 87.


I thank God, I was blessed to be one of you.

A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. I’m glad you had a great time, too. What you said about your High School is very similar to my experience. My graduating class (1974) was only 44 and I grew up with most of my classmates. People brought guns to school…not to shoot people, but to go hunting with their pals afterward. No extreme violence or bullying. There were no metal detectors, no fear of deadly assault. We also had a “board of education.” It’s was rarely used and was never an instrument of abuse, but it certainly made us pause before doing something foolish. 🙂

    It truly is sad to see what kids have to go through today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mel I do remember the days when people drove their pickups with the gun rack in the window. We never worried about someone shooting us!
      The Board of Education was just a “gentle reminder” that wasn’t used that much, but we all respected it!
      I think the smaller school gave us a better sense of community and appreciation for one another. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t able to take the time to comment on this yesterday, but this is beautiful, Lilka. I am so glad you had such a wonderful, supportive group of people! I love what you were saying about not being aware you were lacking in anything. I honestly think a little lack can be much healthier than a great amount of excess… we tend to learn to strive harder when the goal is higher. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Heather. It is the lack in a void we can not fill that keeps us in covenant with our Father. We yearn for Him and are restless until we Have HIM.

      In the natural, I believe LOVE compensates for for most of the things we may lack physically. We usually don’t need anything until some marketing propaganda tries to convince us we can’t live without it. Just in time for the Holidays! 😉 B Blessed today!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so, so true! I know I have personally met children in a loving, but poor, family who were much more content and satisfied than those who had a lot. It would seem our sin-warped natures are never satisfied with more until we start seeking only more of God!
        I love this and will carry it into my holiday season for sure. 🙂 Love to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Those were the days…my friend 😉
    Of course I started singing that song!! And can you even believe that my son just wrote those exact words to me in a text!!!!????
    I’m so happy you had this ki d of famuly and thank you for sharing about it. Makes us all think of the people in our lives who are important💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Lorrie! You are correct. I am really trying to let those near and dear to me know how much they mean in my life. I think we tend to take people for granted and never fully appreciate them until it is too late. Thanks for taking time to stop by and comment! 🙂 B Blessed!

      Liked by 1 person

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