Proverbs 15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
It was the end of an era! Twenty-two years, five children, myriad smiles and tears … Last Thursday our youngest, Abigail Sheridan, graduated from Cedarville High School. It was not at all the typical ceremony and celebration we had anticipated for her graduation day. But thanks to administrators, teachers, friends, and family the day was perfect! My heart was full with the outpouring of support. But my eyes pooled and my throat choked up especially when I saw the crowds lining the street. These spectators of our parade of cars were the icing on the cake. In fact, this parade washed away the rain of disappointment resulting from the COVID–19 pandemic.
For days leading up to the graduation ceremony we had moments of sadness at our house. It just seemed so disappointing to have missed all the final rites of passage for Abigail, but also for dad and me as we prepared to send our youngest out into the world. There was no prom, no tennis tournaments, no class trip, and no final goodbyes. We, too, were saying our farewells to years of involvement at a school we have loved.
Abigail chose her local siblings to join her in our van for the big day. We dressed and met with the other graduates in their vehicles at a local church parking lot. Then we started the procession to the school. My eyes fill even now thinking about all the friends and family with signs and bells waving and cheering us on. They could not attend due to the crowd restrictions, but all along Main Street their cheerful faces and effervescent enthusiasm supporting the class of 2020 was overwhelming.
We pulled our cars into the reserved spots in the school parking lot and enjoyed the event from the comfort of our vehicles. The wide screen portrayed baby pictures along-side the more recent senior portraits, as well as all speeches recorded ahead of time. When the moment came for Abigail to receive the diploma, we drove around the crowd of parked cars and stopped in front of the stage where Abigail, dad, and I got out. She handed us carnations and we handed her the diploma as the event photographer snapped away.
After all was over, our vehicles caravanned back to the street. But the fun was not over yet. Along the final stretch of parking lot to the school’s exit, fire trucks and police cars blasted their sirens to bid the class of 2020 a final farewell. Again I was overwhelmed with gratitude to all who worked so hard to make this day special!
There is a saying, “Don’t rain on my parade.” This adage pleads with nay-sayers not to ruin a good time. But in this case — at the end of this era for the Sheridan family — the parade is what washed away the rain. And I am forever grateful!
Goodbye Cedarville schools! Thank you for everything.
Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.