The morning began with a 7 am jog with Brinca. I've lost a lot since the quadrathalon in February. Scarfing down breakfast, before Ruby woke up, I watered the yard, checked email and got ready for the day. Off to the Santa Fe High School Graduation. Third year in a row someone from the church was graduating from that school. James Rotunno. I tried to find his family, looking in the same area they had sat the year before for his older brother Gabe. No luck. So I just took a vacant seat on the hot aluminum bleacher, thinking how much easier it was to navagate the scene without a 6 month old baby as I did the year before. The man calling out the names of students was giving his best Michael Buffer impersonation--why is this the predominate way to pronouce names at these kinds of events..? The man in front of me, and anglo man, repeated several times to his family...just wait till they get to the "Ms"! commenting on some of the common names here in Northern New Mexico..."There are 11 Martinez!"
There were a few kids who were paraplegic that were part of the graduating class. They scooted up the ramps and made there way across the stage. It was interesting to watch the adults who were part of the congratulating crew standing in robes, hats, and stoles, respond to these kids. While they shook the hands of all the other kids who walked across, these paraplegic kids received a few pats, mostly waves, and some simple nods. Why is it so hard to touch them like you did everyone else, I wondered? One of the kids names was Miracle. I wasn't sure if that was a boy or girl name....But I did see her after the event, she was a girl. I wondered if miracle has been born without the ability to move most of her body; and what her attitude about her body was now in light of a radio program listened to this week on Speaking of Faith, on this very issue. I thought her name very profound; yes, she was a gift, a miracle in fact.
They made it to the R's, of which there were many more than I anticipated. I texted James' mother: "Here he comes! Congrats!" I tried to make out which one he was from the bleachers...and did not see him. Then all of a sudden they were on S's. Did I miss him? I checked the program. His name was listed? I saw I had a message from Milee on my phone. I left the noise and the reverberations of the voice of the wanna-be Mr. Buffer, and went to make a call.
"Hey Milee," I said to James' mother. "I didn't see James."
"Yeah, I meant to call you," she said. "James was hurt last night and he's in ER."
"What happened? Are you okay? Is he okay?"
"He's doing okay, he was stabbed four times at after an event at the high school last night."
James was okay, and even rallied enough to play in our final softball games this year. But this has forever changed his life. The knife blade came very close to doing serious damage to his lungs and his internal organs. Fractions of inches...
We pray for him and for the young men involved in this incident.