Sunday, May 29, 2016

Caps In The Air!!!

People were piling in by the dozens, craning their necks to find their “people”, introductions being made all around between hometown folk and visiting families, and everybody was dressed with the grace and dignity the occasion deserved.

I sat in the dim light, the entire auditorium packed to the gills, I in an outside aisle chair, when the music began to play. People rose to their feet, turned toward the entrance door, and as I saw their fresh faces filled with trepidation and excitement all at the same time – my eyes began to fill with water and I turned to grab a tissue from my purse, knowing this was only the beginning.

It was a small class – the Class of 2016 – but it was a formidable one none-the-less. All of them standing tall, confident, and ready for whatever was about to come their way.

All thirteen chairs would fit onto one single row upon the stage. They would all sit side by side, ending this ride, one right next to the other, as they already had, all year long.

The awards/rewards for all their hard work would be many and would be generous. Their names would be called, their hands would be shook, and they would all smile for the camera – for clarity and for the sake of posterity.

The Salutatorian, Miss Hilary Erde, would speak in the way she has probably spoken all of her life; with the clear, resounding and confident voice of knowing who she is, and where she is going. She spoke of the performing stage as being a big part of her life for many years, and her ease at which she spoke was undeniably an excellent representation of just that.   Her prior achievements personally and educationally, spoke for themselves as she stood at that podium and gave the speech of her high school career.

And then there was Miss Anna Meeks, the Valedictorian of RFM Class of 2016. My husband and I have known Anna for quite a long time, but it was during her late middle school years that we really got to know her even better.

She would ride with us to some of the football games that were out of town. Her brother had played football in prior years, but by then he had graduated, and since our son Zach still played, she rode with us.

I cannot even tell you what an eye-opening experience that was for us – to discover the complex, deeply intelligent, insightful and immensely comical side to Anna Meeks. You learn a lot about someone riding 6 hours in a closed-up vehicle, several times a month!

The speech she gave was a true reflection of the young lady giving it; I laughed and I cried, and I dug out more tissues. It was absolutely 100% Anna Morgan Meeks, and I was so proud to say that I already knew just how amazing she truly is, and how proud I was that now everyone else would know too. 

Congratulations to the RFM 2016 graduating class. Go forth and prosper – as I know you all will.

copyright 2016 Michelle Mount Mims
Also previously published @ The Havana Herald 

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