Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Rite Circumstance for Tears and Joys

With Brianna’s other grandmother, Gma Dot, on one side of me and her mother on the other side, I was fishing for tissues and handing them out to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.”  I did pretty well until the pretty graduate in the row in front of me started crying, and then my eyes teared up so I would fit in. Ha. 

Brian and Gerald were on the other side of Mary Ellen, so I didn’t see if they teared up or not.  Afterwards even though the graduates had thrown their much decorated mortarboards into the air with great glee and then filled their front of the gymnasium with streams of colorful spray strings, these same graduates were soon in tears as classmates hugged and were greeted by their special friends.  Gerald said he had never seen so many tears—he thought commencement services were supposed to be happy.  And they are, of course, but end of an era is also often appropriately grieved.   (After my high school graduation, someone lined up “our gang” and took a photo, which I never ever saw.  Nor did that group of close friends ever again be all together at same time.  Nor will they ever be since one of us is gone. Yes, there are reasons for tears.)

Gma Dot and I could not have been prouder as we saw our sweet lovely Brianna do a great job with her valedictorian speech.  Having just moved to Lincolnwood High School district four years ago, Brianna was at a disadvantage going into a small school where most freshmen had already had nine years of schooling together.  Or as she said in her speech, she could not speak about her grandparents going to school with someone else’s grandparents, which is a wonderful possibility in close-knit communities.  Nevertheless, she made friends and loves her now alma mater with as much passion as any native-born Lincolnland Lancer.  She appreciates all that small school had to offer her and worked hard to profit from those opportunities.  I am sure Lincolnland will be proud to have her as one of their talented alumnae as she completes her education and joins the workforce.

As soon as the ceremony and the after-greetings and hugs were over, we headed over to the local KC Hall at Raymond, where dinner was served at a lovely party.  Decorated with school colors and photos and memorabilia of the six families celebrating there, the hall was festive with gobs of friends crowding in.  I hadn’t been able to see Trent in the crowded gymnasium, but I got my hug there, and part of the fun for me watching Trent and his friends enjoy themselves as well as seeing Bri socializing with friends. Of course, I also enjoyed visited with Gma Dot, who will soon return to Arizona.  Tall and as strikingly attractive as a model, Dorothy is definitely one of my more sophisticated friends.  Yet characteristically, she pulled up the sleeves of her lovely blouse and laughingly showed me the small injuries (several) inflicted on her as she helped pick up limbs of a down tree and did other grunge work while she was down here in our area helping her son Brian as he battles to get a crop planted during this wet spring.

We had planned to stay at Mary Ellen and Brian’s house, and she had a bed waiting for us.  But as the hour got later, Gerald realized we could drive back home and be in bed not too much after midnight.  He had crammed a lot of work into his day before we left for Raymond, and I was not sure he should make that long drive yet that night.  But he was confident he was up for the drive, and knowing that Mary Ellen and Brian still had party clean-up, we decided we might be doing them a favor by going on home to Southern Illinois.  We were in our own bed by 1:00 a.m. and soon this morning, I was hearing him out on the lawn mower cutting the grass on the huge lawn he has created for us.

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