GRADUATION

by emilysaysgo

Mine this time! Well, it hasn’t happened yet…but it will. Soon. In like fourteen hours.

Part of the graduation ceremony involves the graduates giving tributes to their parents, and the parents giving tributes to their graduates. Since we’re homeschooled, our parents deserve it, and since it’s a small class, the length of the ceremony can take it.

However, this has been ridiculously hard for me. I don’t mind speaking in front of people when it’s only 100 words, but I’ve had THE hardest time coming up with what to say, for a plethora of reasons:

First, since the person who indisputably deserves the most thanks is my mom (who died last summer, and thus will not be in attendance), I can’t not talk about her in the speech. But I also can’t talk about her a lot, because it will make everyone cry, particularly my dad, who will then have to speak right after, and also because I’d probably cry myself. And I don’t like doing that. I’m okay, really, but I know breaking down in front of everyone wouldn’t exactly give that impression. Though really, no one could blame me. I’m between a rock and a hard place, you know? There’s no simple solution.

Second, my focus just hasn’t been on looking back to thank my family. It’s been on looking forward, and encouraging my friends and fellow classmates. Graduation is a time for unity, for pride in our accomplishments, for letting each other know that we mean the world to one another and that the world had better watch out for us. So after attending my friends’ graduations, and seeing them get fired up about each other and their friendships, I’d much rather have talked about that. But that’s not the assignment.

So I’ve tried time and time again to imagine how I’ll be feeling when I get up there tomorrow, and what I’ll want my dad to know. And it hasn’t been easy. I’ve known about this for months, and written and revised at least half a dozen times, with at least three entirely different possibilities. And I haven’t been happy with it at all, until tonight. I’ve got it, guys. Something I’m comfortable with that addresses my mom but not in a way that will make me sad, and that isn’t too serious but says what I want to say. I knew I could do it, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy with it until I had. It’s not spectacular, but it is exactly what it needs to be. So there. I win.

Wish me luck!

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