Saturday, September 17, 2011

Graduation Day

    Hey,   I'm back again.  If you read my 1st posting here, you know why I'm writing.  I will be telling all kinds of stories from life.  Some aren't flattering.  Even of me.
    Penny, my wife, knows these stories and tells me that it's a wonder I survived childhood.  Sometimes I wonder if I did.
    The graduating class of 1979 from Hatboro-Horsham High School probably remembers that day.  It was a very beautiful day in June.   Many had plans and great expectations for the future.  Maybe even a little uneasiness as to what was to happen in their lives as one chapter closed and another began.
     I spent the day of graduation with a friend, Jim and we loved to fish. Almost as much as Mr Nishiyama our biology teacher. We went out early and had a great day.  We got back home with just enough time to get ready and get to our graduation ceremony.  When I got home, I ran inside and quickly cleaned up and got dressed to go.  Mom was pretty well in the bag by then and she sure looked it.  She asked me where I was going, so I reminded her of what today was and asked if she was going.  She wouldn't commit one way or the other.  I felt a little abandoned when I thought about being alone at graduation as far as family was concerned, but, this was status quo so I shouldn't have expected anything more.... but I secretly did. I hoped to have a "normal" life like the other kids had..... silly me.
    Jim picked me up and off we went.  It was  hectic as kids got ready in their caps and gowns.  There was lots of excitement and laughter with talk of graduation parties afterwards.  We made it.  We were graduating.  With each of us walking up when our names were called and cheers or applause when they got there.  I kept looking in the bleachers for Mom, but, I never found her. I was sad but kept it to myself as I always did.  I didn"t want anybody to know.  I was emabarassed and ashamed.of my circumstances.....sometimes I still feel that way. 
    After turning in my cap and gown all I could think of was running as far as could.  I just to wanted to get away as fast as I could.  As I was going down the hall, Joe, another friend caught up with me and wanted me to come to his house.  Joe had seen my homelife 1st hand and his family was aware of it as well.  I attended a graduation party held for Joe and myself.  I received gifts from from Joes' parents and even his grandparents.  I wanted to cry but I didn't......I felt so grateful.
     When I got home later that night Mom was still drunk.  I asked if she went to my graduation.  She said she was there......under the bleachers.  She took a taxi and had him wait and after she watched me get my diploma from under the bleachers, she went home.
      Again I find myself in deep gratitude to people who have shown me that I was not alone.  To Joe and his family I could never express to you how much this has meant to me, as with all the other souls who have extended their hearts to that kid. I wouldn't have survived this long if not for you.
       Until next time...... God Bless

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