May 9, 2020
I have watched and wondered at the commotion around whether to hold graduation ceremonies. I might think differently If it was my graduation, but I do not think so. I recall my older brother being “punished” for not cutting his hair for his graduation. The principal refused to let him walk. When he asked if he would still graduate, he was told he would. His response to the demand was, “OK, I guess you can send it by mail.” This was the early 70’s and attitudes toward authority were different.
I did not attend Prom either my Junior or Senior years in High School and the reason I attended graduation both years was because I was part of the program. I missed three of my four college graduations. The first time it was rained out, but the second I did not bother to attend. My third graduation was with a small class and I was informed if I did not show they would not give me my diploma. My parents also showed so I was sort of obligated. The final time was with a college I completed as satellite classes. I could have gone back for a weekend of celebration with my cohort, but it was 2000 miles away and I choose to spare the expense and stay home.
Amid the pandemic all kinds of celebrations are being held virtually. I have heard of Zoom call graduations complete with cap and gown. Others are graduating seniors and planning to hold ceremonies during the summer. Another is planning a drive through graduation with seniors lined up in cars to be handed their diploma. Similar ways are devised for other celebrations. I saw two families celebrating birthdays at the lake where I fished yesterday. They seemed to ignore any of the social distancing requirements except to hold the event outside. My granddaughter’s birthday was last week, and their decision was to hold a “drive by” birthday party. All her five-year-old friends were driven by the house at a certain time to wish her a happy birthday. Although she does not yet have a lot of experience with birthdays, my son told me she exclaimed, “This is the best birthday ever!”
THOUGHTS: Melissa and I received good news on Friday, and she wanted to celebrate. During normal times we would have gone out to eat. While restaurants have been cleared to open at 25% capacity in our state, most are refusing to put their workers at risk. I decided to cook up a pot of beans, make potato salad, and grill hamburgers outside. When she arrived home from work, we went out on the patio and spent a relaxing evening enjoying the nice weather. We lit a fire as it got darker and Melissa exclaimed, “Thank you for making this celebration special!” Perhaps the key to special celebrations is who you spend them with. If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.