The graduation was amazing. Background: my sister has three kids – Tiffany (9th grade), April (happy graduate), and Ryan, (age 20). Ryan is a private in the US Army and has been stationed in South Korea for a year. It was hoped that he could return home on his first leave for his sister’s graduation, but the timing didn’t work.
At least that’s what we told his sister.
April graduated from Hannibal High School, a small, rural school. She had 80 kids in her class. On Friday night we all packed ourselves into the auditorium and sat through the speeches and awards which proceeded the main event. Finally, it was time to hand out the diplomas. Each graduate walked across the stage when her or his name was called. Kids with large families or kids who had driven their family crazy drew especially enthusiastic round of applause. The principal gave out most of the diplomas, with two exceptions: kids whose parents were school board members. They received their diplomas from their parents, which was nice.
April’s last name begins with an ‘S’ so we had to wait until almost the end. Finally, they called her name. My heart swelled. And then the announcer said, “April will be receiving her diploma from Private First Class Ryan Stevens, a 2003 Hannibal High School graduate, currently serving with….” The rest of his words were lost in the roar from the crowd. Ryan stepped out from the wings wearing his dress uniform. The place went nuts.
April froze. She stared at her brother, not sure what she was seeing. The crowd was on its feet, whistling and clapping, shouting. Ryan stood at attention. Finally the person behind April told her to move. She walked slowly across the stage. Her brother opened his arms and gave her a hug (and her diploma) and then it got really loud. It was wonderful. Many, many tears.
There were graduation parties and family get-togethers, and we worked on the house, too. BH is working very hard on the office he is making for me. I move up there in 32 days, so the clock is ticking.
Did any of you guys got to ALA (annual American Library Association convention)? If so, do tell.