For the last several years, until this spring, I weekly visited an old woman that was active in our church. Her mind hadn't given out, but her knees had, and she was in a nursing facility.
She was always upbeat. Took her a while to accept that why-ever the hell I was visiting every week, I was going to keep coming and she might as well get to know me. So she did. We had a lot of mutual interests. A stroke years ago had robbed her of much talk, but what she did say, mattered.
The town we both have lived in was really tiny 56 years ago, when she and her two sidekicks decided to hold the first graduating senior breakfast in what was then an aging church. There were three graduates. One was her daughter. And after the daughter graduated, the three women decided it was a good tradition, so they kept doing it. The graduating classes grew in size, but for a long time, slowly.
Don't know what the early menu included other than scrambles, I think sausage, fruit and some kind of bread, coffee cake or doughnuts. For a while, I understand, it went to a continental breakfast. Naw, we've been back to the good stuff for awhile.
Lawanda died at 89 this spring, happy that we have continued her tradition.
Today for the 56th time, members of this church served the senior breakfast, this time for 115 kids. One hundred came. We used 24 dozen free-range chicken eggs donated by members with home-grown chickens. Served warm flour tortillas, sausage, salsa, jalapenos, shredded cheese and sour cream, 8 dozen glazed doughnuts (half were donated),Subway cookies, fresh fruit salad, and coffee, orange juice or water.
Merchants donated some good stuff, everything from restaurant coupons and oil changes to hard cash. The kids were really pleased. Many dressed up. It's kind of a hassle, but we use linen tablecloths and the food is good, and they preview the senior video. We had a one-minute blessing and no more than a 10-minute inspirational message. Hey. We ARE a church. Just not a very pushy one.
Many of these kids live in this community not only with their parents, but their grandparents, all who have remembered coming to this church for breakfast just before graduation. It's a community tradition. It doesn't take long, and the food is good.
I woke up at 5 am--some woke at 4am-- others came last night for hours, and we got the meal ready. All volunteers, any one of us could have caved.
But the tradition is so sweet.
This is a little Texas town where long ago, parents decided to honor their children, of whom they were most proud. Through all the years, the reason, the love, the sentiments, haven't changed.
It's a nice celebration.
I hope, through the years, many may remember this and smile. It was, after all, all about them today.