On the spring retreat of 1989, the senior class of the MYP requested a chance to speak and say thank you. We spoke too long and some of us got too emotional. Some were not thrilled with how long it went or what was said. But those who were on that weekend will never forget it. A group of friends, standing in front of their peers, telling them how a teen group from Queens changed their lives.
It started in 1987 when the seniors from that year spoke on their last weekend. Their emotions were raw and present and one of them said “Blessed are the seniors, for they shall return as Team Members.” For me, that was what I wanted to happen. A shy, slightly awkward nerdy kid with glasses being told that they were loved and understood is what I needed to hear at that point in my life. The Module was already important to me but that weekend it became a fixture in my life. Everything was waiting to get to that next Day and see my friends. The people who liked me for me and gave me the confidence to go on to the next day. Knowing that this would end one day saddened me so I decided to enjoy every single Module moment I could. I attended every single day. All of the car washes, bake sales, committee meetings, talent show events. I was there. I never wanted to risk asking one of the girls out in fear of no longer being their friends. I sure that was what prevented them as well.
As the years moved onto the last, I decided my classmates and I should find a way to say thank you like those who inspired me years before. Everyone I spoke to wanted to say thank you as well. One of them made the mix song of our favorites to play at the end. Everything was planned. I couldn’t sleep the night before in anticipation. And then the moment came. One by one we spoke, sharing our feelings and bearing our souls. Yes, it took longer than I thought it would and the raw emotions that day might have turned people off but the majority didn’t care. When it was over, the love given was the love received and it was like a Sign of Peace that lasted forever.
And then the bus broke down on the way home. As if the weekend was not ready to be done with us yet. The community from the weekend lasted well into the evening as a replacement was sent and parents were informed. There were no instant communications in 1989. It meant longer to sign each other’s journals. It meant dancing on the side of the highway. It meant that our Module community would last just a little longer.
Graduation came and went. Friendships and relationships grew or fell apart. 28 years later the memory of that weekend still holds an important place in my life. In all of our lives. It took a while for me to graduate to Team. Time that I didn’t realize until after it happened I needed to grow as a person beyond what I was in high school. The dreams of youth lived will always be better served as a memory of what was and what you became. It will always be the best time of my life. Until the next time.