A Word About Graduations

Well, it happened this last weekend. I’ve been getting regular emails and watching Facebook postings for several weeks, now. But this last weekend, it finally happened. My graduating high school class from Granite City, Illinois got together for a 60th class reunion. At one point, earlier this year, I thought I might try to make it back to my hometown. But an unexpected medical procedure for my wife made my going back for the class reunion unwise.

For the past few days, however, I’ve sure enjoyed seeing pictures of my classmates that several folks have posted on their Facebook pages. Of course, all of those folks I graduated with have changed over the years. Some of the guys are thin on top. Some of the gals are gray. I can safely say all of my classmates from 60 years ago are more wrinkled than they were the day we all donned our caps and gowns and marched proudly down the high school auditorium for our diplomas.

I remember there were speeches delivered that day, by our valedictorians. But I don’t remember who gave the speech, or what they said when they spoke. I think the mentioned that we had our whole lives in front of us, and we could accomplish whatever we could dream. I think whoever it was that spoke must have said something like ‘the future now belongs to us,’ or is sitting on our shoulders, or is waiting to see what exciting things we could accomplish. That’s probably pretty close to what our valedictorian must have said in his or her speech.

Seeing the pictures of my classmates who attended the reunion was a wonderful treat. And … seeing the list of 174 known classmates who have passed away since our graduation 60 years ago was a bit sobering, too. Reading the names of high school friends who are no longer here was a chance to reflect on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to since my high school graduation.

When I scroll through the pictures of my classmates who attended the reunion, I smile and have a vague remembrance of what they were like, back in 1964.  But wait. Can that be accurate? What was I like in 1964? The world was a different place, wasn’t it. And I was just kid from a steel mill town on the banks of the Mississippi River across from St. Louis.  Our class Valedictorian said that we had our whole lives in front of us, and we could accomplish whatever we could dream, that ‘the future now belonged to us.’

In I Tim. 4, Paul sends a note to a young man who had graduated you might say. Timothy was under the tutelage of Paul, himself. And he sends along this admonition to the young disciple: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

I’ve reached an age where no one thinks less of me because I’m young. But it does not escape me that there may be some who might discount my life because I’m old. My responsibility, young or old is the same, it seems to me: Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”

4 thoughts on “Graduation

  1. Hello Ken, I remeber that young blonde headed guy who was close to me in Advanced Mixed Chorus. Our director and teacher Mr. Simpkins. Loved your State of Mind about the reunion and us. Wish you would have come. Brenda Margulen Zampaglione

  2. This is beautiful, Ken! Would have loved to see you, but you belong there with the love of your life! Hope she is recovering well and completely. Keep these inspirational messages coming! I love them!

  3. Thanks for your comments about the Class of 1964 … we had a lot of good people in our class and sad to see how many have passed. I wish you could have joined us. The memory of you back in High School is you had Blonde Hair and were a great singer and a nice person. Glad that we can keep in touch online.

  4. Very powerful. Very sobering.
    Lots to think about here.
    From reflection on where we were, where the Lord has taken us, our previous friends, those who have passed, our own mortality and time we have left, and of course — how we are living our walk with the Lord. Sobering but also encouraging.

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