For the last few weeks, we've been working closely with Gay Nesloney up at the high school. Every year at this time, we start trying to corral the graduating seniors so that we can get their biographies, photos and accomplishments all compiled into our annual graduation supplement.
If you think herding cats is difficult, try getting a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds to focus on one thing long enough to get it completed! The teachers will also tell you that this class, like so many before, suffers from a debilitating ailment - senior fever.
The kids are already planning college dorm rooms, summer trips with friends, long days at the river,,,, and they haven't finished school yet. There are so many things bouncing around in their heads right now, trying to get them to finish up piddling details is difficult; but, Gay is an experienced senior handler, so we don't worry a great deal.
It's almost impossible for me to recall what it was like over 30 years ago when I was graduating. I had some incredible classmates, many of whom are still a part of life here in Mason. Kim Lehmberg, Matt Hey, Anna Velez, Quinn Jones, Nancy Rogers, James Donop, Scott Zesch.... all classmates of mine who are still bouncing around the area. Like the seniors of 2010, we were difficult to pin down for long, and we had all the answers to our lives, though we didn't know all the questions.
In the years between then and now, we've lost only two classmates, though we've lost track of several others. We've had marriages, kids, divorces, remarriages, jobs, job changes, graduations from college, trips abroad, trips around the country and trips around the world. Some of us have now lived longer than we really ever thought we would. Others have had some close scrapes in life, and we are grateful to still have them in our lives. Some of us have stayed close, while others have either been allowed to drift away, or made decisions to leave the rest of us behind while they looked for their lives elsewhere.
The class of 2010 is only just beginning the real journey in their lives. All the accomplishments they've had (and there are many) are only the start of what they can accomplish. They have great joy on the road ahead, and there will also be great heartbreak.
That's the funny thing about our lives... we are not complete without balance. We must know the bad to truly enjoy the good. We must feel the pain to be able to understand the euphoria. We must know anger to realize what forgiveness means. We must have loss to appreciate gain.
Next week is all about celebrating. But, this week, I remind the seniors of 2010 to never forget that the incredible people they are at this point in their lives is only a start to what they can be. I also want them to remember that it is having been in this special place, at this time in their lives, that has made them the people they are. If they had lived in Tulsa or Miami or New York, nothing would have turned out as it has.
So savor this moment. And give thanks for it as well. Remember that we are your friends, your family, your neighbors. We will lift you up and we will keep you grounded. We will do all we can do, the rest is up to you.
It’s all just my opinion.