Jasmine’s Graduation Party

As a testament to the ongoing march of time, I’m amazed… and awestruck to find that my niece, Jasmine, is graduating high school. And is due to head to college next year. Today, Liz and I headed to Indy to join in celebrating this big milestone for her… and for the next big milestones to come.

On pulling up to the house, I was not prepared for the long line of cars.

There were one or two spots on the driveway, but we decided to park in the street like everyone else. I cannot even remember the last time there were this many people at our home.

Inside, one of two large cutouts (this was a shared graduation party, with both Jasmine and her friend Evie celebrating).

Jasmine, talking about future plans no doubt.

A lot of decorations and things on several walls. Of note, this flyer from a memorial concert for my old conductor, Dick Dennis. A lifetime ago, I was also in the North Central HS orchestra and played under Mr. Dennis. As a Junior, I was part of the orchestra that got the opportunity to travel to New York, and performed at Carnegie Hall.

Jasmine’s violin, complete with several medals.

Liz couldn’t help herself.

I couldn’t help myself.

At a certain point in the party, Kenny and Jasmine broke out the violins. I’m used to a more traditional Chinese family, where this kind of thing happens after much cajoling (and ends up being an entire two or three hour event). I looked up, and saw that suddenly… we were about to hear some music.

I honestly can’t recall the actual name of this song. But I know it’s a song I learned, that both my sister and I learned, while studying violin as we were growing up.

A truly funny thing? As Kenny and Jasmine were playing, my sister nudged me and was showing me her left hand. She was touching her fingers to her thumb, to show that she remembered how to play the song. And I did the same thing back, and we were both standing there in the kitchen, playing the song invisibly on our thumbs, while Kenny and Jasmine were doing the real thing a few feet away (the video dips at the end because of this).

It was a very lovely moment, and difficult to express how touched I was. My sister and I, going through these motions that came from our childhood… standing and listening to her daughter, playing these same notes, as she is in the process of entering adulthood.

There was no fanfare, there were no balloons or confetti. It was this very quiet, unassuming moment that reached across years. Decades, even. It was an incredibly moving, lovely moment.

A photo I happened to spot, of Stacey and Jasmine, from many years ago.

A lot of folks were at this party, and I didn’t do it justice. The whole backyard was set up with tents and chairs, and a tremendous amount of food was prepared and served up. Home made pasta and salad, home made Chinese noodles and Scallion pancakes. There was a chocolate fountain, there were dippin’ dots. So much food.

My uncle Benny and Aunt Vicky were also in attendance, as well as a ton of members from Shane’s family. I got to meet several of his family members that I hadn’t seen since Stacey and Shane’s wedding, almost 20 years ago.

We missed a few years, during the pandemic. We were isolated in 2020, and when we tried for a visit in 2021… Jasmine ended up testing positive, and Liz and I retreated to Chicago out of an abundance of caution.

The years do fly by, as they say. But perhaps they did moreso, with the help of Covid. In what seems like a blink of the eye, Jasmine has grown up, graduated high school, and about to embark on her college journey.

Liz and I are both incredibly proud, and look forward to all the things she will do and experience, in the years ahead.

Christmas in Indy, Day 2: Cold and Snow, Painting and Cookies
Early Christmas in Detroit, Celebrating my Dad’s 80th Birthday in Indianapolis
Suddenly, Suzuki
Hanging Out at the Hyatt
Hanging out with Jasmine
Everybody… meet Jasmine
Tricia’s Graduation Ceremony, Air Battle Manager, Class 22014
Katie’s Pinning Ceremony, Ivy Tech School of Nursing
Leslie’s Graduation Party and a Remarkable Resilient Pinata
Liz’s Graduation and Celebration: Master’s of Science in Applied Statistics
Congratulations, Liz!

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