Tag Archives: teen suicide

When Your Youngest Graduates

Seven years ago (almost to the day) I wrote a poem about my eldest growing up and being ready to graduate high school at the same time my youngest graduated to middle school. Note to young parents: Do NOT have children seven years apart. It may seem great timing early on, but it also means you will have a teen inhabiting your home for fourteen consecutive years. And they will go through major life events at the same time. This year my eldest and his wife made me a Nonna (Italian for Grandma) in April, and my baby will graduate from High School in May.

I thought my hair would surely turn grey with all the stress of the past eight months or so, but I still have just my few silver strands I’ve had for years. My daughter-in-law has a hematologic genetic issue (MTHFR mutation) that predisposes her to difficulty conceiving and increased chance of miscarriage, and she ended up delivering three weeks early due to uncontrolled pregnancy-induced hypertension. It was terrifying being so far away, but I think it made us all that much more thankful when everyone was confirmed healthy!

My youngest has had two good friends in his Senior class commit suicide this year. One was early in the year, the other was just a few weeks ago. He just wants high school to be over, to never set foot on that campus again. Fortunately, I’ve talked him into going to most of the Senior events. I think he’ll even agree to a graduation celebration as long as it’s while his new niece is there to steal the spotlight. Yes, he performed in a local musical in front of a sold-out crowd of six hundred when he was a kid, but he’s too much like me sometimes. I can speak in front of thousands of people, but am uncomfortable with a hundred people paying attention to me, not what I’m saying.

I got to look at his yearbook last night, and it was an incredible publication! I pulled out my own Senior yearbook for comparison mine was pretty awesome) but was blown away by the creativity these students showed. Yes, there is digital technology available now that wasn’t available in 1984, but there are a lot of things included in both that really define the feeling of the time period. Kudos to all Yearbook staffers everywhere!

John still has Prom, Senior Walk (I think this is a Louisville thing) and Graduation to go. Sadly, Graduation is on a Wednesday at 5:00 pm downtown, making it nearly impossible for extended family and friends to be there even with the huge venue (Freedom Hall). BTW, 1984 Defender yearbook staff, I do want to correct one error in the coverage of our graduation at Rupp Arena. The Assistant Principal who shook our hands was given six hundred pennies, not marbles. Marbles would have been dangerous. I brought and passed out the pennies myself because he wouldn’t let the picture the school-contracted photographer happily took be included in the yearbook.

Check in with Mama Kat for Throwback Thursday this week!

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