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Saturday, May 25th Neil, Matthew, Bethany and I went to Lusk for Bethany's Graduation from Wyoming Virtual Academy. It was a long, but good day. We left about 6:30 am. First, got Emma off to the ward baptismal trip. We thought about taking everyone over to the graduation, but our experience at Seminary Graduation convinced us we shouldn't do that. Julia was so kind to volunteer to stay home with the younger children. I know she would have liked to be there and support Bethany. I am so grateful for her thoughtfulness. It would have been a long day of sitting for the little ones.
It was about 6 hours over to Lusk. We stopped in Casper had lunch and ran an errand to Home Depot. We got to Lusk a little after 1:00. It took us a little bit to find the High School. No one told us to look for the tiger paw prints going down the street and follow them. When we got there it was good to get to meet some of Bethany's teachers. She put on her cap and gown and it was time to line up for the march.
Bethany was Valedictorian of her class. There were 26 students in her class. The school put together a slideshow of the seniors. After that there was a Wyoming State Representative who spoke. Bethany gave a nice speech. After another speaker and the Superintendent the diplomas were handed out. It was a nice graduation ceremony.
After the ceremony there was a reception for the graduates. We stayed for awhile and then decided it was time to head for home. We stopped in Casper again for dinner. We got home just after ten o'clock. Julia had all the children ready for Sunday and in bed. Thanks, Julia!!!
Bethany has worked hard throughout High School. She loves to learn and do well. We are proud of her and all she has been able to accomplish. She will do well in her future. She is still undecided about where to go to college in the fall. Soon, hopefully soon she will let us know what her plans are.
We love you, Bethany!!! Love, Mom and Dad
Here is a copy of her speech:
First, I want to share a poem by Dee Groberg called the Race. It goes:
“Quit! Give up you’re beaten!” They shout at me and plead. “There’s just too much against you now. This time you can’t succeed.”
And as I start to hang my head In front of failure’s face, My downward fall is broken by The memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will As I recall that scene; For just the thought of that short race Rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race – young boys, young men – How I remember well. Excitement, sure! But also fear; It wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope; Each thought to win that race. Or tie for first, or if not that, At least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side Each cheering for his son. And each boy hoped to show his dad That he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they went, Young hearts and hopes afire. To win and be the hero there Was each boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, Whose dad was in the crowd, Was running near the lead and thought: “My dad will be so proud!”
But as they sped down the field Across a shallow dip, The little boy who thought to win Lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, His hands flew out to brace, But mid the laughter of the crowd He fell flat on his face.
So down he fell and with him hope He couldn’t win it now – Embarrassed, sad, he only wished To disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up, And showed his anxious face, Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race.”
He quickly rose, no damage done, Behind a bit, that’s all – And ran with all his mind and might To make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself To catch up and to win – His mind went faster than his legs; He slipped and fell again!
He wished that he had quit before, With only one disgrace. “I’m hopeless as a runner now; I shouldn’t try to race.”
But in the laughing crowd he searched And found his father’s face; That steady look which said again: “Get up and win the race!”
So up he jumped to try again Ten yards behind the last – “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to move real fast.”
Exerting everything he had He regained eight or ten, But trying so hard to catch the lead He slipped and fell again!
Defeat! He lay there silently A tear dropped from his eye – “There’s no sense running anymore; Three strikes: I’m out! Why try!”
The will to rise had disappeared; All hope had fled away; So far behind, so error prone; A loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.” But then he thought about his dad Who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” and echo sounded low. “Get up and take your place; You were not meant for failure here. Get up and win the race.”
“With borrowed will get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all. For winning is no more than this: To rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to run once more, And with a new commit He resolved that Win or Lose At least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, The most he’d ever been – Still he gave it all he had And ran as though to win.
Three times he’d fallen, stumbling; Three times he rose again; Too far behind to hope to win He still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, As he crossed the line first place. Head high, and proud, and happy; No falling, no disgrace.
But when the fallen youngster Crossed the line last place, The crowd gave him the greater cheer, For finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, With head bowed low, unproud, You would have thought he’d won the race To listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do too well.” “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and hard And difficult to face, The memory of that little boy Helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, With ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win, Is rise each time you fall.
The message of this poem is clear. No matter what happens as we move on with our lives – don’t ever give up. We wouldn’t have made it this far without support. Our support came from the wonderful teachers and parents. I want to thank all of you for helping us.
As you face and tackle the inevitable changes of life after high school, hold true to yourself, never quit, and you will win your race.