Alyssa’s Graduation – The Big Family Event

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Family,Holiday,Sherry

It took eighteen years before it was possible for this big event to take place. Alyssa’s high school graduation was the end of one life and the beginning of another. With a heart full of gratitude, we all celebrated one of the most exciting events in Alyssa’s life thus far.

The day started with me giving Alyssa directions to the place where the ceremony would be held and unfortunately, I took her the long way. As a side note – never ask me for directions.

We-e-e-e-e-ell! I was really excited and not thinking clearly! I mean, she is my baby!

Anyway, we got in a traffic jam right in front of the place while waiting to be able to park. Because she feared being late, Alyssa grabbed her cap and gown, jumped out of the car, ran across the road and went into the building. That left me to jump out of the car, get into the driver’s seat and w-a-i-t for the traffic to move.

Eventually, I was able to park and everyone had saved me a seat inside.

My focus was on Alyssa. As I watched the reason for my motherhood excitedly await her diploma, I thought of all the years that preceded this wonderful event. So many priceless moments flashed before my eyes and tears constantly threatened to overflow like a river.

Because of the traumatic events during the preceding year and a half, this day was even more memorable. I kept vacillating between the thoughts that all those years had passed and that Alyssa was alive and graduating. The day actually started to feel surreal.

After several speakers had talked, they announced how the students would be called by name and the process they should take to receive their diploma. I felt a huge surge of pride and relief. I decided I would take a picture to forever remember how I was feeling. Precisely at that moment, Alyssa turned around and looked at me. I knew that she was feeling the same way.

It was like a dream as she took one step after another across the stage.

My baby girl was graduating from high school and I was there to watch it.

The moment was almost too wonderful.

This beautiful young woman has received the best part of me and I’m so proud to be able to call her my daughter.


No. My feelings go way past pride.

I love Alyssa beyond words – spoken or written.

After the graduation, we all met outside in the heat and bright sunshine for a photo opportunity. It was really hard not to squint or melt, but you couldn’t tell it by looking at Alyssa. She looked like a movie star in her white dress, six inch heels and golden tan.

It had only been a few years earlier that we all gathered to see my lovely niece, Brittany, graduate from high school. This beautiful girl with flaming curls and the silky haired blond were both smiling in the view of my camera. I’m sure there couldn’t be a more beautiful site on all the planet.

These photographs make me want to sing like Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she beautiful?”

Here we are…trying not to squint too badly, but totally melting in the heat.

After the graduation ceremony, we had a small family celebration at Alyssa’s favorite restaurant. Of course, there had to be cake with pink flowers.

Yes, gratitude filled my heart to overflowing that lovely June day. My beautiful daughter graduated.

Of course, I feel even more grateful that my child and mother love each other. The two of them look and act so much alike and I love them both so much.

So now I’m the mother of a high school graduate. In many ways, I too graduated that day. It is not only time for Alyssa to start a new life filled with adventure, but I’m also excited at the possibilities and opportunities for happiness that await me.

I wonder what the future has in store for both of us?

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D December 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

A sweet post, & wonderful photos – as usual, but even more so. You have every reason to be very proud!


2 bradssafeandlock December 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm

What a beautiful family. Congratulations Alyssa !


3 Joan December 28, 2011 at 3:22 am

Come on, Redhead Riter! I saw the picture of you standing next to Alyssa. Are you sure that you are really Alyssa's mother? You look too young and beautiful to be her mother! Are you sure you're not her sister! :o)

And speaking about looking young and beautiful, your mother looks gorgeous! Beauty just runs in your family! :o)

I enjoyed reading the post and seeing all the pictures of Alyssa at her high school graduation – her rite of passage!

Don't wonder about what the future has in store for the two of you. I can assure you that the future comes way too fast, so just savor the time you and Alyssa have together now, and the future will unfold as it will.

And just in case you are wondering, Redhead Riter, you are right! This comment did take me an hour to write! Come on, do you seriously think these words of wisdom just come rolling out of me? It takes deep thought and concentration to write these comments – not to mention all the editing that goes into getting it perfect! Why do you think I haven't written a new post on my blog in almost a year? Oh, the curse of being a writer! LOL


4 MamaNeeds1Refill December 28, 2011 at 5:10 am

Congrats! She is a beautiful girl with a Hot mama!-) What a lovely dress. My son is graduating this year. So I get to go through all the emotions of Oh shoot he not a baby anymore and is going to leave the nest soon. Great pictures too.



5 Teresha@Marlie and Me December 28, 2011 at 5:32 am

Congrats Alyssa! I know the future has wonderful things in store for you!

p.s. thank your grandma and mom for some killer genes!


6 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 6:27 am

Thank you Skip and Brad :o)


7 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 6:28 am


It will be a glorious day for you! Alyssa graduated in June and the memories are still fresh in my mind 6 months later.

My advice is TAKE LOTS of pictures!


8 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 6:29 am

Thank you Teresha! {{huggsss}}


9 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 6:30 am


You're a silly mess! I do not look young enough to be Alyssa's sister!! I think you might need glasses and they should probably be bifocals, but thank you for your sweet words. I will try to drink in your wisdom especially since it took you so long to impart it ;o)~


10 TJ December 28, 2011 at 7:21 am




11 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

Ohhh, now I'm a silly mess, because I said that you look young enough to be Alyssa's sister! And then you added insult to injury by telling me that I needed bifocals! Well, for your information, Miz Redhead Riter, my vision IS PERFECT! I'll leave it to your readers to decide if you look young enough to be Alyssa's sister! Readers, please weigh in with your thoughts!

Ohhh, and in case you are wondering, Redhead Riter, this comment took me only 5 minutes to write! I write a lot faster when I'm irked!

Well, actually, if I am being totally truthful it took me 10 minutes to write, because I had to reread it and see if it needed any editing! :o)


12 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:10 am

Oh, Joan honey, this is Sally here! I am an avid reader of The Redhead Riter's blog, but I never comment because I am rather shy.

But I couldn't help from commenting when you asked the readers to weigh in and answer if we thought The Redhead Riter looked young enough to be Alyssa's sister. My answer is yes. I definitely agree with you!


13 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:12 am

Redhead Riter, did you read the comment by Sally? She agreed with me! :o)


14 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

Redhead Riter, I DO WEAR BIFOCALS, and I have to agree with Joan! You definitely look young enough to be Alyssa's sister! Your faithful reader, Marsha


15 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

Redhead Riter, Frank here! I'm weighing in on the subject if you look young enough to be Alyssa's sister. After carefully examining the picture of you standing next to Alyssa with my magnifying glass, I would have to say that Joan is right! Chalk another vote up for Joan! She is correct. Of course I am 103 years old, so everyone looks young enough to be anyone's sister to me!


16 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

Redhead Riter, I don't understand this Joan who keeps commenting on your blog. She wrote that she has not posted for almost a year on her own blog. Why doesn't she just go back to her own blog and post a post there, instead of writing all these comments on your blog?

As far as you looking young enough to be Alyssa's sister, I must say that she does has a point there! Signed, Mrs. Mildred M. Miller


17 Joan December 28, 2011 at 8:48 am

OMG! With all these comments, I can't believe that I forgot to congratulate the beautiful Alyssa for graduating!

CONGRATULATIONS, ALYSSA! The world is your oyster!


18 Annie December 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

Beautiful pictures Red, and I love the way you did those group shots, with everyone in black and white then Alyssa in colour – gorgeous!

Good looks run in the family, I see 🙂

Best wishes to your for your future Alyssa!


19 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Joan! LMBO!!!

I think you've lost your mind girl!

I do appreciate the compliment, really. {{{hugsss}}


20 The Redhead Riter December 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Thank you Annie! We both appreciate your lovely comments!


21 Patti (PJ) March 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hey Red! What a beautiful post~ The pictures! They made me feel like I was right there with you! That is so cool how you placed Alyssa in color with everything else in black and white! Alyssa is such a beautiful young lady! You can tell her love just pours out to those in her family.
I pray that God rains His blessings down upon her and that she will allow Him to direct her steps in her new adventure into her new stage in life. God Bless y’all! By the way, I read your “About me” page! That is awesome!
Yes, You DO look young enough to be sisters! Both as beautiful as can be!
Love you bunches!


22 The Redhead Riter March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thank you PJ. You are so sweet.

It was a wonderful graduation day. I am was just beaming with pride. I hope Alyssa will remember all the things I taught her so that she will make correct choices and hopefully have a productive, happy and love-filled life.


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