I graduated one quarter early from high school. That meant in February of 1980 I was a free man. That sounds like I was brighter than the average student that waited until the final class was completed at the end of the school year. That was not the case at all. If the truth be known, I made that choice because I had been kicked off the debate team due to disciplinary reasons. Needless to say as the school year winded down for the Monterey Class of 1980 I was not voted most likely to succeed. I don’t even recall who received that honor. And quite frankly I am not overly concerned about researching that information. But what I do know is far more important.
The MHS class of 1980 will soon mark the 33 year marker since our graduation. Who is the most successful among us? I have no clue. But what I do know is that Kerri _______ has rightfully earned the right to be referred to as “Most Inspiring Classmate.” In 1980, we made frivolous predictions about our classmates. In 2013, we can now make firm assertions that are based in reality. Kerri has inspired all of her classmates.
Several years ago Kerri was diagnosed with cancer. She was young. She still had children at home. She was in the middle of a successful career. But cancer is no respecter of persons. She embraced her new reality and pressed on in faith. There were other significant changes in her family that led to her being single again. And that also led to a career change. A lot of change for Kerri…A lot of stress too…
When I showed up at our 30 class reunion in the summer of 2010, Kerri was not present. Her health situation would not allow it. We all signed a huge get well card. And I suspect a lot of us embraced her in prayer from that day forward.
Soon after that I “friended” Kerri on facebook. Over and over again on facebook I have seen her display an attitude characterized by gratitude and joy. She has made her faith real to her friends. She appreciates her family and her friends alike. She is appreciative for life. If she has whined, I just missed reading those posts. I suspect such posts don’t exist! My opinion is: Kerri should be voted as “Most Inspiring.” She has inspired me and countless others from our class. As a new year looms, I pray that we can learn from her example and strive to be an encouragement to others. And as for those of us that had discipline issues…If we have not grown up by now, we are probably not going to!