After months of planning, running around like a mad woman, sending and returning e-mails and feeling like a certifiable stalker, the Champion High School Class of '99 reunion has come and gone.
I don't even know where to start. In some ways so many things are different. Beside the fact that we're older and supposedly wiser, we all came to the realization that night that we're adults now. We have real jobs and houses and for some people mortgages. When did that all happen?
Couples, new and old, are married. I got a kick out of seeing two classmates, Jen and Chad, who began dating our senior year, now married with two children and expecting two more. Our senior homecoming, my date and I doubled with them, which was one of their first dates. It brought a smile to my face that 10 years later they are still going strong, and creating one heck of a family for themselves.
Speaking of babies, I swear my class set a world record for most pregnant women at a class reunion. To all the expecting moms, I send my congratulations. In five years, I can't wait to see pictures!
As people were talking, mingling and catching up on old times, a lot of us didn't realize that one of our classmates, Tiffany, was going through one of the hardest times of her life. She didn't talk about it a lot that night, but two weeks later, the Class of '99 was brought together again under much sadder circumstances.
Tiffany's mother, Margo, a true legend in the Champion school system, passed away due to complications from surgery.
Now, maybe for any other mother, I would not feel the need to dedicate an entire column to her memory. But if you knew Margo Hatch, you know exactly why I'm writing this.
I remember when I was younger, she volunteered at the elementary school. She had a booming voice that could be recognized anywhere, and to a 9-year old, it was pretty intimidating.
For many, you might remember Margo as a bus driver. I never rode her bus, but she was a part of the most intimidating group of women that I have ever known in my life: The band moms.
I'll admit it, there aren't many things that scare me. On my short list are snakes, lizards and rejection. But for two years of my high school life, I was more scared of the band moms then I was of my own mother after breaking curfew by two hours. I'm sure every school has them, but at Champion, you don't mess with band moms. They are a pack that if you attack one, you go after them all.
To 15-year-old Dana, they were mean and scary. To 28-year-old Dana, they are a group that I now know would do anything for each other. They were all there for Margo during her last days. I'm no longer scared of the band moms, but I'll still never eat a sucker in my band uniform.
But what I'll most remember her for is her booming voice at Champion High School softball games. I was the catcher, and Tiffany was the pitcher. I was probably the only person besides the coach that could yell at her daughter. She actually encouraged it. But at the end of the day, she was our biggest fan. She was Champion's biggest fan.
Every school, and probably class, has a mom like this. The one that is at every event, the one who is helping with every school function, even after her children have left school, the one who will always be remembered. For Champion High School, Class of 1999, Margo Hatch was one of those people.
You will be missed, but never forgotten.
And I'm sorry band moms. I did eat a Blow Pop in my band uniform in 1997. Please don't punish me 12 years later.