Ann Swanson

This day and age there are graduates from everything from nursery school to college. Recently I saw a post for a kindergarten graduate. Now I know this same little boy graduated from preschool as well. What does he have to look forward to?

In my day we had elementary school graduation, high school graduation, and college graduation. As an honor student, I was eligible to participate as an usher for the class ahead of me. I went to this celebration with mixed feelings. My great-grandfather ‘s funeral was that day. My great-aunt told me to go to graduation since it was an honor that my grandfather would not want me to miss.

I hurried home after graduation, I arrived just in time to see the hearse pull away. The funeral was at home so everything was out of place. I went in and helped the people clean up before people came back from the cemetery.

My own elementary school graduation was not as traumatic. I have pictures but I do not remember much about it.

High school graduation was fun. I did not feel sad although I probably would not see many of those who graduated with me again. I think the reason for my feelings was that I expected to enter college in my hometown in the fall. Many things would not really be changing at all.

We had two foreign exchange students. The boy was from Ecuador and the girl was from the Netherlands. We have no idea about the boy and what he is doing today or where he is. We were able to reconnect with the girl before our seventy-fifth birthday reunion. She chose to come to that. We had such a good time. I roomed with her to save her money. She has had a very interesting life. She also had quite a prestigious position in her home country. She brought along a booklet that was done when she retired. I read it with interest. I shared one of my books with her.

The day of my college graduation it was beastly hot. I wore a linen suit under my cap and gown. The only problem was the suit shrunk right to me. All I could do was throw it away when I finished with graduation.

I had a small party after my college graduation. My relatives came to my apartment. I had food left over from the party that I had before our prom so there was plenty of food.

Really the only graduation that was memorable for me was my high school event. Maybe that is why high school reunions are so special. I am still friends with many of the people in my class. I visit one at her cottage on Chautauqua Lake. I see one at craft fairs that I attend. I see one at Chautauqua when I go there. Even though we could e-mail, I seldom do. It is enough to visit with the rest of them every five years when we get together.

Is graduation the end of an era or the beginning of another one? I think it is both. It is the end of high school sports and activities while it is the beginning of whatever new venture you are about to enter. Some of my classmates went directly to work. Some went into the armed forces in various branches. Some went away to college. Some attended college at home.

Years ago, I wrote a speech for my sixth graders who were graduating. I told them to be thankful for their memories. They could not be taken away. I told them to look forward to their future. Their future was in their hands.

Think back. What do you remember from high school? You probably remember the people more than anything. That is the key to relationships. People make the biggest impression. Remember that when you are out and about. It is how you act toward others that sets you apart.

There is a song that I dearly love. Part of the words say “let them see You in me, let them hear You when I speak, let them feel You when I sing”. I believe the original song was put out by Colton Dixon, but there is another version by JJ Weeks Band. I am not sure which one I heard first, but I knew I liked it.

What an awesome thought! Of course, the You is Jesus. If we all lived our lives envisioning how others saw us, what a difference we could make in this world. I like to think that people see what I have and want that for themselves. Look up the words to this song and really think about them. They really give an inspiring message.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.


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