Measuring Up


Mid-June, my wife and I had the opportunity of attending our granddaughter’s graduation from high school in a small town by the name of Chelsea Vermont. Driving through the mountains brought back a lot of memories of the vast beauty of the State. The size of her school is representative of the town’s population. Her class graduated only about twenty students. The ceremony was simple but very meaningful and warm. Of course, as a grandfather I was very proud of her accomplishments but as they began to announce scholarship monies and she walked away with over $5000 which will be a great help since she has two siblings already attending college and another coming up the line in five years. She was beaming as were we when they announced her scholarships which were mainly aimed at the fact that she will be studying in the field of education dealing with children with special needs, as her mother already does.

The party following the ceremony gave us a chance to resume acquaintances with friends that we’ve made in Chelsea through the years. It was a very nice affair with just about the whole town’s population attending but my granddaughter and many of her classmates needed to curtail their celebrating because of a curfew imposed by her lacrosse coach (who was also present) in anticipation of the championship game in which they were to play the next day. Her coach indicated that they expected great things from Hillary since she is one of the outstanding athletes playing in the game. In Chelsea, the whole town takes the sports of lacrosse, soccer and basketball very seriously and when they move into a championship status, it seems that the whole town shows up to cheer them on.

The next morning there were several caravans of cars headed to Burlington which is about an hour-and-a-half from Chelsea where the game was to be played. The players were taken by school bus to the stadium which was quite large. As the game ensued, Chelsea fell behind, caught up and then, finally, lost by only a small margin to the opposing team. It was an exciting, “cliffhanger” game. I could sense the downtrodden attitude of many of Chelsea’s players … especially my granddaughter who did not score her customary one or two goals. As I suspected, she was taking the blame for the loss onto her shoulders but I said nothing. The team received an escort of two fire trucks and several police cars as they approached the town. It was a celebration despite their loss. Later on, at the party given in honor of the team, she approached me with her usual big hug and kiss but this time she had tears in her eyes. She said that she had made so many errors and that was the real reason that her team lost. I knew that there was little I could say to ease her guilt and pain and so I remained silent.

Upon my return home, after unpacking, I sat at my computer and wrote her an e-mail. In it, I asked her if she knew how much her Grandpa loved her and how much I knew she loved me more than could be described. Then, I said that if that same great love could be transferred to how much she could love herself, perhaps all of the guilt and pain of losing wouldn’t be so hard to take. I received a reply after a short period of time thanking me, saying that she realizes how she has difficulty handling her making mistakes and will try not to do so in the future. Perhaps this might be a good lesson for all of us. A little love makes the medicine go down easier. Of course, she signed it her usual …“Blondie.”

(4 June 2014)

Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at

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