Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jack's High School Graduation

It was a beautiful Sunday morning.

The Korean dogwoods were blooming, it was seventy-five degrees and the green grounds and blue skies were the perfect backdrop for Jack's graduation.


The boys wore white tuxes and lined up in front of the school to proceed around to "The Hollow" where graduation would take place.

Thanks to the beautiful day, the graduation could be held outside.  You can just see the blue chairs off on the back, right side of this picture where the boys would sit facing the crowd.


And see that lady dead-center holding the camera?  Turns out that's my friend and our dental hygienist.  She lives right across from the school and, unbeknownst to me, she showed up to take pictures of Jack.

Thanks to her these two pics showed up in my inbox yesterday...


She says she has a better chance of getting the boys to smile since she's not their mother so they won't roll their eyes...


Truer words were never spoken.

Jim's mother traveled from Texas with Jim's brother/Jack's godfather to attend...


Here's a pic of Jack with both his godparents...my sister, Sheila and his Uncle George...


Uncle George is just to the right of Jack but refuses to have his picture taken so you'll have to use your imagination.  

It was a special moment for our family since both my father and brother had attended the same high school.  And my father...had graduated exactly sixty years ago in the very same Hollow.


See the ring on Jack's right hand?  That was my father's ring when he graduated in 1954.

And that ring wasn't just any old high school ring.  

It happened to be the first sign of a commitment between my Mom and Dad.  

She wore his ring and he wore hers.  

Most of the time she wore it on a chain around her neck but in the pic on the left below, she's wearing it on her left ring finger.

And my Dad wore my Mom's high school ring on his left pinky.  Their first date was the Easter Monday dance at Loyola High School and the rest is history.

When Dad gave Jack the ring, he hoped that someday Jack might share it with the girl he would marry.  Jack hasn't yet found that girl but I think I understand what my Dad meant.

To a couple that married young and had little money, there was no engagement ring.  In fact my Dad didn't buy my Mom an "engagement" ring until they had been married almost forty years.  For them...those high school rings were it.


And so we pause to take in the significance of the moment.  How life has a way of bringing us back and moving us forward.

And so Jack too had a chance to pause...


Before he passed over one of life's thresholds...


And I'm sure his thoughts were not on his distant future but more on getting out of the sun, getting something to eat, and heading to Senior Week at the beach with his friends.  But someday, he'll stumble upon this post and understand a bit more about the importance of the day for his parents and his family.

Hey, I don't want to downplay the significance.  I think this is the first family portrait we've taken of the three of us in over ten years...


And he sure looks handsome at seventeen and in that white tux...



He'll realize that too when he's my age...or his grandfather's age...



Lucky for him, we did move on to our house to have something to eat and to celebrate.

We catered the party from Chipotle (a fan favorite and highly recommended) and Jim made his famous garlic/barbecue shrimp (another fan favorite)...



And we played...



"Pin the Red Hat on Jack"...




Lately, Jack's red hat has taken a back seat to the black Orioles hat he's been wearing.  

Red Sox territory is looming large on the horizon and he wants to firmly establish his Baltimore loyalty...


Rest in peace, Red Hat.  You were with us for a long time.

Jack's cousins have been great in sharing the joy...



They took this picture last September so that it could be put onto his page in the yearbook...


And our friends across the street gave Jack 20 dozen plus 14 cookies to take on his trip to the beach with his eight friends...


Yes.  Twenty DOZEN plus FOURTEEN.  That's 254 cookies!   It must have taken all weekend to make that many.

And here's the motley crew who would be eating them...


And so a chapter closes.

Thank goodness for this handkerchief that showed up in the mail.  It was sent by Sheila, my blogging friend.  She's sent special gifts before (remember Mr. Miller's stickpin that became a butterfly?)


She remembered my bead journal with the nest and one egg.  And she considered that a girl just might need a hanky to tuck away.

It has a beautifully appliqued "G"...for Graduation...Good luck...Good Grief...Geewhilikers...Goodness Gracious...her list made me laugh.

How about Go, Jack, Go.  Get going.  Gut up, Mom.

Thank you Sheila.  I will use it and think of new "G" words to represent my feelings.  

I love this blog and the friends I've made through it.  

Thanks for sharing my milestones.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Outtakes]

Good friends...




Goofy girls... 


Galling...


Gaining ground!

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jack and his family! It has been fun watching him grow up over the past few years on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your milestones with us. Wishing Jack all the best that the future has to hold!

Pat W
Baton Rouge

Shirlee Fassell said...

Wow great post! Congratulations to Jack and a happy ...sniff sniff ... proud family for raising such a fine young man!

coral-seas said...

Oh my Gosh, Susan! Pass the hanky, please. I'm bursting with pride seeing these pictures of your handsome, wonderful son; you must have been feeling a mile high and I'll bet your beautiful smile never left your face all day.

Congratulations, Jack! I hope you enjoyed your special day, even thought you had to go hatless for a while.

I absolutely love the photographs with the picture frames- inspired!

Gerry Krueger said...

This is your best post ever! As a mother of wonderful loving sons, I have loved watching your Jack grow... That kind of bond never weakens or fades and will be a joy forever...

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a WONDERFUL post!!! Filled with love and the joy of family and friends.

Congratulations to Jack! I loved all of the photos!

FlowerLady

gracie said...

Congratulations to Jack...and you and Jim! You all made it....
Thank you for sharing the special day with us....I also have enjoyed all the friendships our blogs have given us...glad that I met you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan! What a wonderful celebration of such an important milestone! You know how to make it so special. Loved the yearbook page and the picture with the cousins. That took some planning! I'm glad you got the hanky. That was very last minute.

"G", Great Job, Mom! You've done a very, very fine job!

~ Sheila :)

Judy S. said...

Wonderful post, Susan. Thanks for sharing this milestone with us. Hard to believe that Jack's so grown up and off to college in the fall. Congrats to him and the rest of you. (I love the way you used the picture frames also!)

Susan said...

Congratulations Jack and best wishes.

BeckyG said...

Awesome post, Susan. All the best to Jack as he travels on into adulthood. And mazel tov to you and Jim for raising a fabulous son. **shaking my head and grinning from ear to ear**

Mary Ann said...

Congratulations Jack!!! Now on to new adventures:)

Vicky aka Stichr said...

Gushing gobs of goo goes gambling down my gob, guessing that generous hanky will be glued forever. Grand gesture Jack, graduating from good ole high school!

a2susan said...

I think I had tears in my eyes right from the beginning. You've written the most beautiful and moving post, and that's saying a lot because most of them are pretty special. I love the full circle of your father and Jack coming together. Congratulations! You've raised a spectacular son. Enjoy this summer with him as you all ease your way into a new chapter. Much love, Susan

Lisa Boni said...

Congratulations Jack! (and Mom and Dad!) Love the family portrait!

Irene said...

Congratulations Jack! Looks like it was a great day for all.

Miriam said...

Congratulations Jack!!! All the best for the next stage in your life.

A great post Susan.

Marsha said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

margaret said...

loved reading about Jack`s graduation, can see how meaningful it was to you all and a day you will long remember, girls looking very happy posing for the camera too.
I wish all the best to jack in his future career and life ahead

Cathy Kizerian said...

What a delightful post. Where have the years gone? Jack is such a handsome and fun loving young man. Roots and wings, he's got them all. Ya did GOOD!! Thanks for sharing your awesome family with us. Hugs, Cathy

Bekah said...

Those pictures are great, and how wonderful that the day holds such significance - family connections are always so lovely, and it is a beautiful story about your father's class ring.
Congratulations Jack! :)

Skip said...

That was moving. What a wonderful family.

Cari said...

Oh my gosh Susan…what a simply fabulous day you had with the family. I know you are so proud of Jack and his accomplishments. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time. And, I hardly recognized Jack without his RED hat…that I now know will be changing. Have a great summer and thanks for sharing your celebration !! Hugs

Suztats said...

Congratulations to Jack!!
What a wonderful celebration!
And, yes, he is very handsome in his tux. Wonderful photo of you three.
New beginnings and changes. Hugs

Rachel said...

Congratulations to Jack, and best wishes for the next adventure!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I knew you were busy prepping for the big day. We had one too. Corey's girlfriend graduated Sunday. Nice post and pictures. A short break for him, then back to the grind. You'll have more TIME!!
Best wishes for a great summer. Allergies have done us in, in Northern Indiana.
xx, Carol

Nouli said...

Congratulations to Jack!
My daughter will graduate in a few days and is also a candidate competing for a place in the University schools.
Although graduation day is never celebrated in Greece, the fact is that it is a very significant day not only for the children but for their families too.
I wish you and your family the best!!

Marty52 said...

Time sure does fly when you're having fun, doesn't it? Congrats to the grad and his loving family!!

Marty52 said...

Time sure does fly when you're having fun, doesn't it? Congrats to the grad and his loving family!!

FloridaBird said...

G_reat story, G_orgeous family, G_ood for Jack! Tell your sister she has the prettiest smile.

crazyQstitcher said...

Awesome post! Congratulations to Jack and family too.

Fabulous photos.

Vicki Boster said...

Susan- your Jack is such a handsome young man-- it just does not seem possible that he could be graduating--(although I'm sure that's not the way he feels!!) You must be just so very proud.

That's a wonderful story about the ring-- one of these days that ring will be very special to him as well--( but let's don't rush these things!!)

I wish your boy every success as he begins this great new adventure in his life. I've no doubt that he will continue to make you so very proud:)
Xoxo
Vicki

Allison Aller said...

So dear...so wonderful....but what I loved most was seeing that absolutely beautiful smile on your face, surrounded by Jim and Jack...

Anne Bloom said...

Congratulations! It is truly a bittersweet time. I know Jack will do well and you will do fine. It is a new chapter. Enjoy!

Catherine said...

Fabulous post!! Congratulations to Jack!! A fine young man you have raised. Best wishes on his college adventures.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jack and the proud parents !

A long time reader I feel a little bit sad for the red hat... But it's always nice to see the smiling faces of your family.

What is Jack doing next ?

Related Posts with Thumbnails