Cherie Barkee Letter

The following "Love Letter" was written by Cherie Barkee Major, a classmate in the Class of 68. She read it on Saturday evening after our dinner. It is a heartfelt letter that is (and was) very touching to all her classmates.  


A love letter to the Class of 68, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Comparison is the thief of Joy.

When a class reunion is scheduled, it triggers reflection in me. That reflection brings excitement to see and catch up with old friends. It also brings anxiety.

I have been thinking about my insistent thoughts like, have I achieved enough? Am I too fat? OMG look at all those wrinkles on my face, am I good enough? When I see folks, I haven’t seen for so long. What do I say about my life? I want to share but I don’t want it to sound like I am bragging. I want to hear about your adventures. However, it feels like…..


I have been thinking why, why does my high school class reunion bring this out in me so? I don’t do this with my college friends, my old colleagues, other groups of people I have worked with. What is so special and so important about the high school class?

My guess is because it was the end of parental rule and the beginning of our own directorship. The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood. (I learned, when I studied the brain, that adolescence ends around 24, Well thank goodness so I can blame all those times when I didn’t think of the consequences, can be blamed on development) I digress!

High School graduation was our real beginning; we were full of hope and expectations. Somehow, I want your approval, your experiences, your stories, more than any group. We were babies together; we rode our bikes down the street in packs. We played hide and seek till 9 at night. We went on our first dates, went to our proms together. We were teammates. Together. This history of firsts makes you mean more.

When the call came out to spotlight the ones who have done the greatest things to be put in a video, not the ordinary heroes. This increased my anxiety and I have not been able to let it go. It’s not that I don’t want to know or spotlight exceptional achievements, because I do, and I am so proud of them.

However, it is back to the COMPARISONS.

Theodore Rosevelt once said:

Comparison is the thief of Joy. The thief of JOY. I am here for the joy!

Right now, I want to celebrate the everyday heroes.

First, I want to celebrate the heroes of those whose lives were cut short, those who died early, those who suffered from illness and lost the battle. Recently in Washington DC, I visited the Vietnam Memorial and found Dennis Ferris on the wall with my 12-year-old granddaughter. I cried, we cried. I want to recognize all who have died for us. I want to celebrate someone who took care of an invalid spouse for 20+ years, those who gave their lives to care for others. I want to celebrate those who touched others’ lives through kind acts and kind words. I want to celebrate those who worked in government or regulation who believed in the rule of law and fought for our freedoms. I want to celebrate those who are parents and grandparents, biological or not, for their contributions. I want to celebrate those who have tried to alleviate the pain and suffering of others. For those who have built, created, entertained, organized, repaired, and cleaned our homes, neighborhoods, cities, country and world.

You are all here and I want to celebrate all of you, the ordinary, no, the fantastic heroes and sheroes, my classmates.

Comparisons are the thief of joy.

Each of us is enough.

You are all extraordinary and you bring me JOY!

Cherie Barkee Major