Senior encounter

by Peter Marus

I went to Archbishop Molloy High School.  It was ran by the Marist brothers.  They had a retreat house and complex in Esopus, NY. several times a year, they held weekend retreats for students to help them grow as people and their faith-though many went up to hangout with their friends.  They had a special retreat for seniors, called Encounters.  These were done a couple times a school year.  These were a little more special than the regular retreats, especially since it was usually the last one for seniors.   

I was going through a bunch of papers and found an envelope.  Its an envelope full of letters I was given at the Encounter I went on.  The letters were written by those who knew you at the Encounter, those who were on a previous one this year that knew you were going on yours, and your parents.  In the letters were nothing but positive things and some intimate, personal thoughts (mind out of gutter, yes Molloy was an all boy school, but not that kind of intimate).     

I learned what some people have thought of me, and I remember at the time I remember being surprised.  I was surprised by not only so many people would take the time to write, but write more than like a formal "hey, you're doing good".  I remember the feelings it made me feel.  It was one of the high points in my high school time.     

Probably the more emotional part was my parents' letters.  They hit me in the heart most.  It especially hit me reading my dad's letter.  Partly because he's gone now, but also it showed me a side of him and his thoughts I didn't know about.   

I kept this envelope for a reason: its to help me remind me of who I am, though changed a little over the years, and I'm doing OK.  It also reminded me how good there was during high school, not just the BS and pain I had to go through during that period.