During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.
This is one is for the high school class of 2020.
It wasn’t supposed to go down this way. Your story.
This wasn’t the ending that you or your parents had anticipated twelve years ago as you said goodbye to those old kindergarten halls and graduated to first grade.
It’s that point in the story that no one saw coming. The plot twist that has left all of us searching for some positives out of all this.
I picture the scene from The Princess Bride where the grandfather has just told the grandson that the man in black… the hero of the story… is dead. He was the one to make things right, the one the fate of the people pivoted on. And there he is, dead… and the grandson can’t believe it.
And yet, instead, I picture them telling your story….
Fezzik: The rest of their senior year, wiped out.
Inigo: It just is not fair.
Grandson: Grampa, grampa, wait. What did Fezzik mean ‘wiped out’? I mean, he didn’t mean ‘wiped out’ unless he’s only faking… right?
Grampa: Do you want me to read this or not?
Grandson: Who goes to prom? Who walks at graduation? Who skips on senior skip day? Who gets awarded and recognized?
Grampa: I don’t understand.
Grandson: Who does all of those things that seniors look forward to for years? Somebody’s gotta do it. Is it this year’s seniors? Who?
Grampa: Nobody. Nobody does those things. They’re cancelled.
Grandson: You mean they lose out on all of that?!! Geez, grampa, what did you read me this thing for?
And I find myself asking the same questions.
Who would have picked this story?
You seniors wouldn’t have written it this way. Not in a million years (which is about how many it’s been since this last happened).
Your parents would never have wanted this to happen to you either and our hearts break for you.
And yet we find ourselves at that pivotal point in the story.
We can’t change that the man in black is dead… or that all you were looking forward to at the end of this year has been taken from you.
But the story isn’t over.
You Write The Next Chapter
No, you can’t change the hand that you’ve been dealt. But you get to decide what happens next.
This is your moment. Every eye is on you, watching to see what you will do next.
Your parents, your teachers, underclassmen, friends, siblings, neighbors.
All are wondering how your story will go from here.
I believe you will rise.
I believe you will shine.
I believe there is a fire inside that will propel each of you to go out and impact your world.
I believe we haven’t seen the best of you yet.
The story is entering a new chapter.
One that only you can write.
What will you do with it?
How will this change you, strengthen you, inspire you?
From Your Parents
To the class of 2020, your parents want you to know how proud we are of you.
As we’ve watched each new development, hoping that there was a chance to salvage something… anything… it has broken our hearts.
But we’re so proud of how you’ve met the loss and the disappointment head-on and have embraced your new reality.
We’ve never been in your shoes.
But we’re seeing our sons and daughters grow stronger right before our eyes and we are so thankful for each of you.
Know that there are brighter days ahead.
And we can’t wait to celebrate each moment with you.
No, it won’t be like we imagined.
But it will be something totally new.
You are a class that will forever be set apart, special.
Go Change The World
So, just as your world has been turned on its head, go out and make a difference in the new world ahead of you.
Take risks. Find a cause. Make an impact.
The world is waiting for you.
Go change it!