"Yeah, we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun." - John Lennon
Jolie is a family friend, daughter of our dear Navy friends once stationed here in Mukilteo, and though our paths cross less frequently these days, I've known her since the first day of her life.
Shannae and Olivia are former students, little girls back in the day when my own daughters were wrapping up their homeschooling years, and I spent many happy hours teaching them and their siblings as if they were babies of my own.
Alex is my nephew, son of my second brother, as dear to my heart as a nephew can be.
Jonah is the first-born of my surprise brother-from-another-mother, so a nephew as well, and I am constantly delighted and pleased that he - and his entire family - popped into my life in such an unexpected way.
You are the special people in my life who graduated this year, Alex from university and the rest from high school. You are the class of Covid 2021, forever asterisked as the socially distanced seniors, the shut-in scholars, the ones for whom this milestone year of accomplishment and transition took a decidedly bizarre twist.
I'd also say that, in spite of these horrendous handicaps, you Covid graduates hold a certain advantage over the rest of us. Because of the pandemic, you've leveled way up in your ability to cope with
the wild ride that is this life.
Already you have lived the truth of John Lennon's wry observation that life is what happens while you are making other plans,and I'm certain that this crazy fruit basket upset experience has prepared you very well for the punches that life eventually throws at us all.
So congratulations to my graduating class of 2021 - Jolie, Shannae, Olivia, Alex, and Jonah. In addition to your diplomas, you've also earned my respect and admiration for pushing through the weird difficulties and strange obstacles that Covid tossed into your lives, and for finding a way - your own way - to shine on.
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