My son, Chase, is a high school graduate. Friday night, nearly a month since the tornado damaged the school & the stadium, Chase's class donned their cap and gowns, said farewell to their schoolmates, and finished their high school era. They put Twister (like the game) papers on the top of their caps. They stuck Twister dots, red, yellow, and blue, on the principal as they received their diplomas from him.
It was an odd school year. We had more snow days this past Winter than we have had in a long, long time. Then came the tornado, which in all actuality, cut their school year short. There were only 2 buildings to hold classes in, the fine arts center & the lunchroom. Attendance policies were relaxed, and a majority of the students did not attend school for the rest of the year. You will be able to see some of the damage in the background of the slideshow that concludes this post. The local news stations were there to document how Albertville High School students were able to graduate on time, despite all the obstacles.
Rain on Friday had everyone worried that graduation would have to be held in the fine arts center, which would have limited the number of guests per senior. Luckily, about 2 hours before graduation time, the skies cleared and the sun came out. Thank you, Lord. I was so glad that these seniors could end their high school days on a somewhat normal note.
These kids have been through a lot. They lost a schoolmate to a drowning about 2 years ago. They acknowledged him in their speeches. One student missed the graduation because he suffered a collapsed lung just this past week. The principal took his diploma to him in the hospital that night following graduation.
I know many of these students. Chase has played sports with so many of them. Many are like my own kids. Many have spent nights at our home. As I looked around the crowd in the stands Friday night, I saw so many faces of people that we were connected with, soley because our kids had played ball together. Some have become friends for a lifetime. We were all experiencing the same emotions together that night, sadness and happiness all rolled into one.
So begins another era in their lives. College, the workforce, the armed forces, life. I wish the best of luck to the Class of 2010. May God bless your lives, abundantly.