Senior Night

I knew it was coming. Senior Night. A few months ago the schedule for the marching band season was released and there it was. It was supposed to be tonight but due to a miserable forecast for tonight it was moved to last night (thankfully!).  

This is one of those milestones  I had been dreading. Much like other milestones it is something that happens for his friends, but not for him. It is so hard to want to feel happy for those friends but at the same time sad and angry that he didn’t get a chance to be a senior.

So last night I knew they would mention him, but it was my choice whether or not I wanted to go on the field with the other seniors and their parents. I chose to sit in the stands. Before the game Mr. Nash gave Gabe’s dad and I the same flower given to the other seniors (hello, tears!) and we waited. After everyone was lined up they began and this is how Gabe was recognized:

Gabe Chester. . . .
Tonight we honor Gabe.  This would have been the start of his senior year, but Gabe was taken from us in his freshman year.  Gabe gave all of himself in everything he did and was a great friend to everyone he knew. Gabe was a member of the Marching Knights’ pit percussion section and was also involved in the Boy Scouts, theater production and loved to skateboard around Dayton.  He is truly missed.

It was sad and as perfect as anything can be in that situation. I was glad I didn’t go down onto the field. It would have been far more painful to stand there without my child in front of me as everyone else was recognized, their future plans announced along with their names.

This is the start of some very difficult things. Soon it will be graduation, and then his friends will go to college. Then the rest of life will continue on for them. Those things will be so painful. But as with everything else we will muddle through and somehow survive.

Today I placed his carnation on his headstone. So very different than the future I wanted for him, but I’m still thankful for those 15 years and the impact he made.




Author: griefmom

I am a mom to 3 wonderful boys- 2 on earth and one in heaven. I am married to a wonderful man who happens to be the love of my life. I am privileged to work with young moms as they learn to parent. I'm Catholic and have faith that I will one day see my son in heaven. This blog is about my journey- as I figure out who I am in the face of an unimaginable loss. Life is difficult but beauty can be found after the struggles. The struggles, in fact, make life even more beautiful.

4 thoughts on “Senior Night”

  1. Becca & Doug – You made the right decision not to go out on the field, I can’t even put into words my feelings for you and Gabe’s brothers as I read your blog, but I couldn’t help but let the tears roll down my cheeks trying to understand why you have to go through such pain, along with a heaviness in my chest full of compassion for you – but one day you will have your answer! The photo of the flower on Gabe’s grave made it all so unbelievably real – I’m so, so sorry for everything that has happened, but, knowing you, Becca, I truly believe your Faith & Trust in God will get you through what lies ahead🙏🙏‼️ With Love, Peace, and Friendship, Pat

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Thank you for your kind, sincere words Pat! Thankfully not every day is so painful and I know as time goes by in many ways it eases up. Thankful for my Faith and friends to help me through!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: