by Beth Saadati
Told through Jenna’s eyes. Literary license was taken with the point of view.
The details about her graduation day, however, are all true.
I peek through heaven’s portal. Though a lifetime separates me from family and friends, the veil between heaven and earth is thinner than I’d thought.
Classmates and their families enter the arena downtown. It’s where, in kindergarten, I sat in the upper deck beside Mom and laughed, amazed, as we watched the circus perform.
This morning that same arena hosts a ceremony I should be at.
Today I graduate from high school—three and a half years after I took my last breath.
The band I was once part of plays “Don’t Stop Believin’,” while Southside High’s principal leads my grandpa, parents, sister and brother to front-row seats. A moment later Mr. Brooks introduces Mom and Dad to their ROTC escort—an ESCORT—named Brandon. I’ll bet they hadn't expected that.
I love seeing them shown honor. The reason for it is what I hate.
Mom fixes her sight on my empty chair marked by a white bow and the cap and gown I’ll never wear. Then “Pomp and Circumstance” commences, and my classmates file by. I look twice. They’ve changed from 14-year-old teens into young women and men.
As Delia, one of my favorite school friends, walks past, she notices Mom, smiles big, and waves. Thankful, I want to hug her for doing what I no longer can.