We’ve gathered to celebrate six years of choral festivals and choir trips and concerts.
The video presentation shows clips of our kids growing up together. And it’s there. On the screen. I see my bubbly blonde as a fifth grader again. She’s holding a microphone. Singing a solo.
The scene changes, and suddenly they’re in the sixth grade, wearing their pop show costumes. They sang the tunes of Grease that year.
Oh, the memories.
The slides continue. Pictures from one year. Then another.
My, how they’ve all grown.
As moms, we smile and nod at each other. We remember each costume, each concert. We remember each solo, each show.
What sweet memories we hold.
Our eyes begin to fill with liquid gratitude — brimming full and threatening to spill.
But I will myself not to let a single drop fall. Tonight isn’t about me. It’s her night. It’s for her and her friends. I choose, instead, to bask in the grace their voices have shared.
After the video presentation, the beloved choir director takes the podium. He invites each senior to the front. One at a time. The director shares something special about each student. Then he announces their plans for the fall.
The names of colleges follow each student’s name. Until one boy approaches the stage. The director shakes his hand, tells a fond story, and then states that in a few weeks, he will become a Marine.
The words stun.
I hadn’t considered it before. But, of course, it makes sense. Some of these kids will go to college, and some will enter the military.
I look at the young man and see a boy. The same skinny boy who’s been my daughter’s friend for years. And I’m struggling to reconcile the fact that he’s old enough to fight and die for our country.
Yes, I’ve known for forever that 18-year-olds are old enough to enlist. But it’s different when it’s one of your own.
Oh, God, keep him safe.
My eyes fill again. For different reasons now. And I keep repeating the same words. Over and over.
He’s going to be a Marine. Oh, God, please please please keep him safe.
My face becomes hot and wet and salty as each fear falls.
This coming fall, when all these seniors move on to their new lives, may I never forget to pray for every single boy and girl who has signed that paper to serve.
God, be with them all.
Do you know a graduating senior, in your church or neighborhood, you can commit to praying for?
Linking with Lisa Jo, taking five-plus minutes to write about “fall.”