So it's been quite a while since I've posted a new blog. However, it's taken me some time to mull this story over in my head.
50 years! That's how long it's been since my mother graduated high school and a few weeks ago, I had to honor of accompanying her to the big reunion. To be honest, I wasn't completely sure what I was getting myself into however, within the first few minutes I knew it would be an interesting night.
Here are the highlights from my evening:
1. Having many "uh hem" older gentlemen come up to me and say "Hey! You look great! You haven't changed at all!" only for me to respond "Thank you very much. I have an outstanding plastic surgeon!"
2. Making friends with another non-high school attendee who practically fell asleep at the table until I got up to get him coffee. Five minutes later he invites me to visit he and his wife the next time I go to Florida so they can take me out on their boat in the Keys (woo hoo!).
3. Reading in the book where everyone said what they've been up to the past 50 years. A particular man said he was looking for available daughters for his sons. I grabbed the book, brought my mom and went to his table and said "I'm looking for John Garbowski... I'm an available daughter" Following this statement a dowry was discussed between he and my mother. (For the record, this guy made my night)
4. Watching them all dance. It was a fascinating glimpse into the future of dance for my life and it wasn't as bleak as I thought it would be.
5. Realizing the difference between when someone my age wins a prize at an event like this and someone their age wins a prize. The speed it takes to get to where the prize is... significantly slower. The enthusiasm for winning said prize... still very present.
6. Seeing how amazing my mom looked compared to other women her age. No offense to anyone there... but mom looked the youngest.
7. Getting a peak into my moms young life although becoming slightly annoyed each time they called her "Patty".
After the party we talked a lot about moms high school years, her experiences and how it effected her adult life. One of the stories she told me I feel holds some major significance in the way that I believe children and teenagers need to start behaving.
In every school you always have those who stand out. Either they're incredibly shy or just different then everyone else. This inevitably creates a sense of isolation for that person, something I know about all too well. Talking about this with mom I learned that there were two such individuals in her class. Here's the difference though. Instead of those kids being bullied, teased, put down and left out, mom's entire class nominated these two King and Queen of one of their dances. They came together to help their fellow classmates feel accepted and cared about rather than binding together to shun them. Think about this. What if we did this now? 50 years later and everyone is so competitive. 50 years later and no one looks out for each other any more. 50 years later and those individuals who are "different" are being bullied and if they don't kill themselves physically certainly their spirit is in some way damaged.
I think a great lesson can be learned in this. A lesson of compassion, a lesson of acceptance and a lesson of love. This is not any different than anything I've preached before. We need to look out for each other and the class of 1960 exemplifies exactly how to do that.
So my hat is off to you all! Thank you for a wonderful evening and an incredible learning experience!
PS-For those of you who know about orbs... take a close look at that last picture.