The flashy affair was over.  Finals were happening in a few days and The Kid was ready.  We attended the Senior Parent Breakfast and waited to pick up our cap & gown.  You will notice I talk about this moment as if it were mine but we worked at this. So, we celebrated this moment together.img_4143

Now, this senior breakfast wasn’t a high point for me.  Especially after I saw that buffet line.  In true fashion, that kid knew I wasn’t about that life and he got my pancakes. Not wanting to be a brat I stood in line for the other portion. During the running around, we took this picture. Yup – he got me by a few inches! God answered my prayers. 😉  This was the final whoo rah for the seniors.  The final grades were being calculated and the verdict would be announced the coming Friday.  These 10 days were taking the longest time to get to us.  This was the only moment we were really waiting on.  I told you about part of our struggles to get here.  See, his dad graduated out of summer school and he didn’t want to repeat that experience. We worked our asses off, he more than me but I kept a light fire under it to keep him on his toes.  Then June 9th happened and he handed me this when we met up with each other. img_4187.jpg

For the 3rd time during this journey, I shed a few tears.  He reached over and hugged me exclaiming “I told you I’d get it done.”  This cap and gown made it real. I held on to that thing like it was mine because somewhere in my soul it was.  I worried, prayed, and cursed to get him right here. I’m that teenage mom that had never even baby sat a child and here I was about to watch mine walk across the stage to accept his diploma. My expectations were firm but my methods kept changing but he did it.  Yeah, it would’ve been easier if he had done it my way but this was his story. I needed to let him do it his way.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-made-it/id204509084?i=204509140

So the morning of the graduation was here, and I posted the picture that matched my mood.  Hashtag #TheFinisher – I was beyond ready and I even packed a handkerchief. img_3986

This picture captured everything I was feeling about this meeting.  In a graduating class of 262 students, all I could see was him.  He strolled pass me as they marched in the theater of the Michigan Opera House.  This was a long ceremony and for a short moment, I was ready to rip all the programs up because I didn’t see his name. When I found it in its respective area, #CarryOn. Then they asked the graduates to stand up and I was on my muthf’n feet -which happened to be in some 5″ heels but let’s go. Then I got this message: I remember this paper being in his room on his desk and of course he forgot it. Now, I gotta run down the aisle like I’m on the Price is Right. Then I got back to my seat and cheered for all the kids that spoke when they were on the phone with him, introduced to me, called me “Ma, Auntie & Ms. Wilson.” Then I saw him make his way to the stage. #Leego The announcer said Lorez Wilson and I lost it – screaming, clapping, jitting up the aisle (my footwork was unmatched) and I did all of this while taking pictures.

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Did you notIce me mention I cried? NOPE! I had shed all the tears prior to this day.  This day was for smiles. We did it. In 1999, this event seemed to be a million years away but with each passing year, I realized how close we were.  As we made our way out to the streets of Detroit, I couldn’t wait to see him and congratulate him one more time. I found him in the swarm of black and yellow.  His smile was as bright as the day but I saw something in his eyes.  We snapped a few images in the daylight.

I asked to see the diploma and he told me they had to pick it up from the school later on. WTH DPSCD? We left headed to Joe Muer for lunch with Grandma. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you he cut his hair off prior to graduation. I was looking at a young man ready to make his mark in the world.  Little did he know he had already done a good amount of that through me.  I was different because and for him.  He is the best part of me.  Everything I never knew I needed.img_4240
While we were at lunch I learned his dad had not shown up to the graduation, after I gave up my opportunity to monopolize this event. I knew I saw something in his eyes at the theater. It was sadness.  Afterward, he went and got a tattoo (how could I say no- I have 16) and I sat down to REST.  I thank everybody that was on this journey with me. All of your help was and still is appreciated.  You never left me out here to do this by myself. The village of Marti truly came through for this kid. There are so many to name but I’m positive I’ve already told you personally. Eternally grateful to you all for everything because I know your love for him is an extension of the love you have for me.

August 1st, while I’m sitting in my chair at work listening to inspirational music this little exchange occurred and it gave this chapter closure.

As we tackle this next mission, I’m positive he’ll be just fine but I’ll be right there to throw an assist if needed.

 

 

High school football is generally where a gang of us realized this is a sport we love. I’ll admit, due to family circumstances, I wasn’t afforded that high school experience but I lived it with my kid. After an unexpected season, we ended up right back at Ford Field to defend our crown. As a senior, this was his last hoorah and boy did they make good.  Here’s my version of the final season as a Crusader.

I hate spring training just as much as the players.  They’ve only been off the field a couple months then it’s back to the drawing board to get ready for a new season.  This creates all types of conflicts with spring and summer vacation but you’re in it with the players because you know this is something they love to do. This summer’s heat was brutal.  I remember asking my son every day “ain’t it too hot for y’all to be out there?” (Don’t judge me these were my exact words, lol) He would look at me and say “Ma, it’s not always going to be comfortable when we play the games.” Point taken. On this particular day, I received a notification that a 911 call had been initiated from our plan. I call my son no response, I believe he was on the phone with my sister because she told me – he was okay.  So, I wait.  He walks through the door and asks “is that a hospital across the street?” No, why? “Coach Harvey passed out during the practice.  They took him to Receiving Hospital.” He comes out maybe 15 minutes later to tell me the coach has passed.  Heartbreak in the community, King High School Family and across the state.  After some swift changes, the 2016-17 season would be played in honor of DH.


The season started on point. We were halfway through the season and only 6 points were scored on us.  The defending champs were not having it this season.  They wanted to hold on to their streak and their titles.  The streak and their city championship title were lost to Cass Tech. Proven to be the manifestation of their Crusader name, they marched on to the state championship game against Walled Lake Western. I watched with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. This was my kid’s 6th time playing on the field with a 60% success rate.  The odds were in our favor but the game of football is not a gambling man. As always, I screamed and hollered as they marched up and down the field.  There was no Sports Center Hail Mary last second highlight this year.  No, the defense was on point and the team played with a lot of heart for their fallen coach. By the end of the contest, King had managed to play another shutout game a maintain their title of Division 2 State Champions.

 


This was the end for #19/#80.  The 2 seasons he decided to play high school football he won the ship. He kept telling people he wasn’t going to play in college but I know my son. It’s never been a crazy thing for him to change his mind. In the cold of December, I took my lunch watching King & Cass (who also won their Division 1 championship) parade down Woodwartherethe Spirit of Detroit.  The week wasn’t over their was a luncheon in the 2 teams honored by UAW-Ford with special guests Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio. I knew the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when I saw my kid’s face on the channel 7 news. These faces are magnetic for a camera.

When the new ring comes I’ll be sure to share it. Do I think it’s over, no?  The 1st couple days he was lost without the schedule of evening practices.  We’ll see what transpires as we draw nearer to the end of his high school career and start of university life.  The jury is still out with the verdict regarding college football. As Drake said, “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.”