Eric and I were in the same third grade class together at Stony Hill School, in the little New England town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts. We went all the way through high school together and were even in the same homeroom for four years, graduating in 1972. Never once would I have guessed that years later, in 2002, Eric Wahlberg and I would reconnect at our 30-year high school reunion. Never once throughout grade school, junior high or high school, could I have imagined that the boy in Miss Dowd’s third grade class, playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on his flutaphone, the boy in my homeroom, whom I am not sure I ever even spoke to, was destined to one day become the love of my life.
I had whimsically moved to southern California with a friend when I was 24. Eric ended up in southern California, circa 1992, for work, however our paths never crossed. A few years later he migrated to northern California, where he was living and working, when we re-met in 2002 at the reunion in Massachusetts. I chose the date and the location, and arranged and planned the entire reunion, all the way from California. Eric just happened to be in town from California that weekend, traveling through on a bushiness trip. While visiting with his mom and siblings, he heard about the reunion from friends, on the very day of the event. On a whim, he decided to go. Although I had attended all but the 25-year, this was the only reunion he had ever attended.
So, is it fate, coincidence, accident, serendipity, providence, chance? Was the handwriting always on the wall? (In Eric Wahlberg’s award-winning grade school cursive?) All I know is, this was the way it happened, this was how we found each other, and for both of us, it felt unstoppable. And meant to be.
Third Grade Loves (little did we know…)