Good afternoon class of 2022 and welcome to your ring ceremony. You’ve waited a long, long time for this day and believe me, I know all about waiting for a ring! It seems endless and then, when you finally get it, you realize, it’s not the ring itself that’s important but rather the meaning behind the ring that matters most.
I have four rings on today; my own class ring from The Academy of Saint Aloysius, my engagement ring, my wedding ring, and close to my heart, my grandfather’s wedding ring. Each one of them carries a different and significant meaning and so too will the rings you receive and cherish throughout your life. In years to come, you’ll look at different rings you wear and each one of them will tell a story, just to you and it will call back a beloved memory. For me, having my grandfather’s wedding ring is especially important—not because it’s big or flashy or opulent, but because it was through my grandparents that I came to believe in “happily ever after.” You see, they were married on Valentine’s Day and were together for 55 years, until she passed away on Valentine’s Day. My grandfather never stopped missing her, and his ring reminds me of their beautiful love story that created our entire family.
My own engagement ring and wedding ring—well I’ll never be able to look at them without remembering the past year we all just went through. You see, I got engaged in December of 2019—when the world was still “pre-covid.” My husband proposed in Disneyworld, the day after Christmas and so, when I look at my engagement ring, it reminds me of excitement and happiness and joy. And then, came COVID and all the fun of wedding planning took a backseat to the harsh realities of the pandemic. My wedding ring will forever remind me of this unforgettable year, because I, like so many other women, had a private, COVID wedding. And so, every time I look at it, I’m reminded that what got us through all from March of 2020 until was love and support.
And as for this ring here on my right hand? Well, I got it just down the boulevard on a February morning in 1994. I still have it! I don’t wear it often, but I can remember when I wore it every single day. When I look at it now, I am reminded of the young girl I once was, just the age each of you are now, with my entire future in front of me. I had no idea it would lead me to the school just three blocks away and that I’d be here talking to each of you. I’m so very glad it did.
My point is this; today is not about a piece of jewelry, it’s about this time in your lives. Your entire future is ahead of you; you’re moving up to the role of upperclasswomen at SDA. You’re becoming leaders, the role models of the school and all too soon, your high school career will be at an end. The time between now and graduation flies by, ladies. And once you leave high school, you’ll be amazed at how quickly time moves from year to year. All I have to do is look at the ring on my right hand to recall the girl I once was—and I cannot believe it’s been almost 30 years since I’ve been that girl.
The 14 months you have between now and graduation from Saint Dominic Academy should be some of the best of your lives. Make beautiful memories, enjoy every moment, forge friendships that will still be strong 30 years from now. That’s what today is all about—it’s the first moment of the rest of your life as a young adult, your first footstep into the adult world. And, you’ll remember it always, I hope.
One final word of advice, if you do get a ring today, keep it for always. Between you and me, it’s the only thing I have from high school that still fits!!
Congratulations ladies on becoming upperclasswomen at Saint Dominic Academy.