How would I ever be able to say the things I had prepared?
Scanning the sea of crimson robes, it was the sight that took my breath away in the chill of last Wednesday evening. I stood elevated on the bed of a vehicle with microphone in hand. Quivering, the only words that would form were "Wow"!
And then...a calming warmth enveloped me and I began...
The scene before me all started with a delightful surprise visit from the 2011 senior class officers of LHS a few weeks ago.
In Jocie's honor, they wanted their senior class gift to be a bright yellow bench with a plaque dedicating the gift to their classmate and friend. They miss her too!
The bench is located at the back of the high school overlooking the football field. The place where Jocie famously became a member of the Touchdown Club. With golden sunsets on one side, and her snowy mountains on the other, it's perfect.
|Doesn't Cass look like a J Crew model here?|
As darkness settles around the bench just before I would speak, Jocie's spirit settles there too.
Here is some of what I said...
"On behalf of the Garlick family, it is a sincere pleasure to be with you tonight. The time-honored graduation ceremony of “Candlelight” at Logan High School is deeply embedded with tradition. Knowing that we would be speaking in place of one of you graduating seniors, humbles our family completely.
So, I tried to think of what Jocie might want to tell you if she were here speaking to you right now.
- First, I’m sure she would be thrilled that the newest make-out spot at Logan High School was a yellow bench with her name on it.
- Second, she would tell you all how much she loves you but not in a totally serious way, much louder and more like “Dude, you’re all awesome!”
- And also, I know she’d want you to hear her best advice for your future...as you so often heard her say “Go Big or Go Home”
As you can imagine, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on life and legacy. With legacy being the result of living an authentic life; no matter how long that life might be.
If you think about it, there are literally thousands of people who lived their lives in such a way that deeply affects each one of us today.
- The founding fathers of our nation who believed in gaining freedom and a better way of life.
- Abraham Lincoln, who knew this country should not be divided.
- Those of you with pioneer heritage, whose family members left everything they owned to move to this beautiful valley we now call home.
- Family members…a grandparent, aunt, or uncle whose legacy might not have been famous, but a true representation of what it is to be a truly great person.
- Perhaps a coach, or treasured friend left you their legacy, whose example reminds you daily to achieve greatness and fully embrace everything and everyone around you.
Just like those who came before us left us their legacy. Those who will come after us will come to know the legacy that we leave them. What will your legacy be?
You most certainly will have challenges, struggles, unexpected or life-altering difficulties that threaten to inhibit or even destroy your legacy. What will you do? I stand before you tonight to tell you that you can make it through these moments. If you pursue through the unimaginable, stay strong and believe in your own personal legacy I know you will succeed.Some parting words I know Jocie would want to share with you…have fun in your life, be crazy, maybe even a tiny bit weird. Go big or go home...but mostly go big!
To the Class of 2011…We will always love you and consider you part of our family. We expect many amazing accomplishments from you, with a legacy that lives on for generations."
And scene...and what a scene it was!
And scene...and what a scene it was!