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June 2, 2013 / Ingrid

FHS Graduation 2013

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Today was bittersweet…
It was the day Jesse would have walked across the gymnasium stage to receive his high school diploma. But instead, we were invited and accepted the honorary diploma for him.

His classmates also honored Jesse and another former classmate, Andrew, by wearing colored ribbons and leaving graduation chairs empty for them.

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It gave me joy and some sadness to address Jesse’s senior class. I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude. Below are Scott and my words in which I shared:

“Good afternoon everyone!

My husband, Scott, regrets that he could not attend today but he, Savannah and I would like to thank Mr. Suchowski for the opportunity to address you during this most promising day. We also would like to thank all of you for accepting us into your community two years ago. We are honored to call Fenton our home.

Today, it brings us joy to see all of Jesse’s classmates preparing for their futures. It brings us sadness that Jesse is not physically among you. He brought such light, huge smiles, enthusiasm, wit, grit, introspection, inquisitiveness, sass and fire into our lives. In each of your own special ways, you all bring the awaiting world some of the very same things.

As Seniors, you all came together in so many ways in support of our son and our family. Our hearts have been so touched by your love & generosity, by including his name on these awesome class t-shirts (like the one I’m wearing), by wearing his Jesse’s Journey wristbands, by planting the memorial tree, by the nomination & selection of Jesse as Homecoming King…that was so awesome!…All of it is so awesome! You helped Jesse feel as normal as he could as a young man with terminal Leukemia….thank you!!

In these increasingly troubled times, as in Jesse’s untimely passing or the events depicted on the evening news, two choices are presented:

1 You can either cover your head and shout “the sky is falling!” or
2 You can stand tall & smile at the trials life brings and make a positive difference as you engage them… Just like you Seniors did for Jesse.

I know Jesse’s choice… He would stand tall & smile.

Let’s all stand tall and smile with him…

Thank you & congratulations Fenton High School Class of 2013!”

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10 Comments

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  1. Leilani / Jun 2 2013 6:31 pm

    What beautiful words. You are gifted with them. Made me cry…….

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  2. Eileen / Jun 2 2013 7:51 pm

    Ingrid, that was soo nice..your an amazing mom!

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  3. nick / Jun 3 2013 2:05 am

    Strong family

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  4. hwschmidt / Jun 3 2013 12:05 pm

    Jesse is accepting another trophy. JESSE IS STANDING TALL AND PROUD.
    We are proud of him. We are proud of Scott, Ingrid, Savannah, and all his family and friends. O God of love, we thank you for all with which you have blessed Jesse and all of us. We thank you Lord, for the gift of joy in the days of health and strength and for the abiding presence and promise in days of pain and grief. Even in our pain and grief, we are thankful for the time we have shared with Jesse. We are grateful for his faith and his service, his love and his gift to us as family and friends.
    The grace of God’s love and forgiveness, the presence of Christ’s peace and strength is with us and will go with us now and forever in our lives.
    We love you all. In Christ, hermann

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  5. hwschmidt / Jun 3 2013 12:07 pm

    Please excuse my spelling. Some tears got in my way. In Christ, hermann

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  6. Diane Snellenberger / Jun 3 2013 6:15 pm

    There are no words for this Ingrid. What a wonderful legacy for Jesse. He touched so many of us, whether he knew us personally or not. Never to be forgotten. Thank you for sharing, our prayers are with you all.

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  7. hwschmidt / Jun 9 2013 10:26 am

    O Lord, open wide the windows of our spirits and fill us with your light, so we may see, see Jesse’s smile. Open wide the windows of our hearts, so we may receive your word, receive the words Jesse is transmitting to you Scott, Ingrid, Savannah, and all of us. Yesterday was the graduation of some of Jesse’s friends in the open, in a soaking rain, Jesse’s tears. Jesse was here. Lord, we thank you for your, and Jesse’s presence. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you as we worship together this day. Eternal and always loving God, we praise you.
    As always, Jesse and you all are on top of our prayer list…..and Jesse smiles.
    In Christ, hermann

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  8. Helen Morill / Jun 10 2013 7:09 am

    Praise God from Whom All blessings flow. What an awesome day and an awesome legacy Jesse continues provide. He lives in all of our hearts.

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  9. Andy Harris / Jun 11 2013 7:45 am

    Beatiful words and sentiment. Jesse definitely stood tall and smiled in the face of the challenges life threw at him, and he clearly was the catalyst for positive changes for all those who met him.

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  10. nick / Jun 11 2013 9:37 am

    God bless you parents and sister

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