I doubt there was a more joyous place to be in Nashville than St. Andrews Presbyterian Church the evening of May 16th. That is the night that families, teachers and mentors gathered together to celebrate seven (!) Calvin House graduating high school seniors.
Each student-Raven, Jamie, Curtis, Judcia, Braxton, Renekque and Danielle-had their own table and at each table sat the people who had helped them along the path to graduation. In the center was a photo album that Tess put together full of pictures of their time at Calvin House. I will just tell you that these are some awesome and fun young people to be around!
I guess, in retrospect, we were celebrating not just the fact that they were graduating high school but much more. We were celebrating several years of forming friendships, lessons learned, shared meals, shared prayers ,overcoming obstacles, memories of games, retreats and growth. Growth in every possible way.
It was very awesome to get to talk with the parents and have a chance to share good things with them about their sons and daughters! I had an older mom tell me once, “Mothers never tire of hearing good things about their children.” The families just seemed to “light up” hearing it all.
We had a slide show and each student was given a gift very uniquely suited to them. They were then given a chance to express their thanks to those who had helped them. In what was one of the more touching parts of the night, the senior young men-these young men who try to put on such a tough exterior- broke down trying to express their gratitude.
What was represented in that room for these students was consistency-the people that have been there for them when there have been so many people who should have been but weren’t. How could you ever measure what this could mean in the life of a young person?
I think Mrs. Joan, a family group leader who was there, said it best afterwards-“You could just feel the love.”