I was getting ready to have dinner with my college friends last Friday when I began to feel a sudden excitement and soothing calm. Then I thought to myself, "I guess this is what the word homecoming means". The thought of seeing and being with these people whom I consider life long friends and family once again really made it feel like I was 'coming home'.
And why wouldn't I feel this way when it was these people I studied, partied, disagreed, cried and rejoiced with back in college - the best 3 years of my life (3 years because of the trimestral system). And even years after college we remained friends and allowed ourselves to be part of each others lives.
I remember in those days we even made a plan to meet up for lunch once a month. Obviously, with everyone's busy schedule, the monthly plan has become an at least twice a year event (sans getting together for our kids' birthday parties).
This dinner was particularly special because we celebrated Dada winning her company's international achievement award which will be taking her to London in a few days. For me, aside from celebrating Dada's success, it was my first time to return to Kit's house after Reyster passed away and it was a part of my process of coming to terms with his passing. Even if he was not physically present, I was so sure he was there with us.
I was happy that at least our core was in complete attendance. It's usually difficult to get everyone to attend and actually stay. We arrived at Kit's around 8pm and were treated to her yummy home cooked lamb chops, liempo and a variety of pasta dishes. Then we shared on oreo cheesecake with cookies and cream ice cream on the side (ooh, i can still remember the taste!). Afterwhich, our ever so creative host Kit prepared and served mojitos. In between all of these we shared stories, updating each other of current events in our lives.
What was enjoyably surprising was that after all these years, there would still be stories that would come out that the other members of the group didn't know of, and it's these stories that would allow us to piece together little bits of information that would complete another story or an unresolved mystery(for that night, it was Torts on the hot seat). We laughed so hard, couldn't stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks.
This went on until about 1:30am. Rob and I had an early morning the next day so even if I didn't want to leave, we had to go ahead, leaving the rest to reminisce and continue the night.
I left Kit's house that night feeling as if I was leaving my family after a reunion. And as I initially felt, that's just what it was, a homecoming.
I look forward to the next time we meet up, with tissue in hand, ready for another round of hard laughter, with tears. It always feels comforting to come home.