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The Road Not Taken

High School is a classic love-hate relationship, a time to remember or forget, a nightmare on Elm Street or the Yellow Brick Road, a bridge to nowhere, or a bucket full of possibilities. The days of puppy love and home-cooked meals are gone. I gained forever friends and those I hope to forget. Fifteen-thousand hours I invested in this single event, graduation day. The paper says I have met or exceeded the requirements necessary to move my tassel from right to left. I am scared to death and joyous beyond measure. Tomorrow I work at the plant with my father or go off to boot camp. I am clueless or have a life plan. I am college-bound or off to trade school. My days of glory are passing; no cheers for a touchdown. I am happy to stay here at home or eager to leave. I can only imagine what these graduates feel on this graduation day.

My heart fell as the Valedictorian spoke and said,” Since we were sophomores, we were locked in a pandemic, but we made it.” Today the world is in turbulent times, economies crashing, left versus right, black versus white, a war is raging, and America is aging and faulted in her steps. Spooky times to pass this gateway to my future, I feel like David facing Goliath. It is the best of times and the worst of times—it is graduation day! Just a distant memory of mine, today I celebrate Seyth’s passage.

I am blessed with the opportunity to record this event for my great-nephew in words, pictures, and video. He has a plan, a dang good one. Off to boot camp, then into college and the Reserve Officers Training Corps, with hopes as a walk-on to the national champion football team. He is the perfect example of overcoming the odds and making something of oneself. He was not born with a silver spoon; He worked hard and dreamed; Everyone is full of pride for him.

The blood that flows through Seyth is a confluence of the Anishinaabe, the original people of the red river, Ojibwa, Lakota Sioux (Oglala Band), Cree, Norsemen Vikings of Scandinavia, Romani of the Balkans, French, Dutch, and Scottish. His family lines trace to Chief Standing Bear, Duke Sir Charles Trueblood, Leif Erikson, and have carved the Kensington Runestone. Seyth is a thoroughbred Metis, which is of mixed blood. His ancestry traveled to him on Red River Carts, through the plains, on the Mayflower, The Viking Hjemkomst, and Ellis Island. He is filled with possibilities and armed with ancestral hope.

His ancestors draped the quilt of honor across his shoulders. The star quilt was made for Seyth down in Pine Ridge by his father’s cousin Michelle. Michelle used the same pattern as Seyth’s Great-Grandmother and many generations of Tiospaye (extended family) before. Seyth’s Great-Grandmother’s native name was Redbird—interestingly, the school’s mascot is the Cardinal, a red bird. His tassel was an eagle feather and a dream catcher—he is off to catch many dreams and conquer all odds that stand before them.

Honor Quilt Ceremony

The Honor Quilt

I sent the pictures and video out to the family who could not attend, and the response is fantastic how many people will support him along his path:

Your email was the first email I opened. I had the biggest smile and warmest heart from seeing what a man he has become. Just a huge inspiration! 

Of course, congratulations to Seyth! May the world be open for you as you go into your next phase of life. We’re so happy for you and proud of you.

Many stand behind him and love him; the world is his—we all support you!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves, no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Filled in Possibility

A Life-Long Friend

It is Graduation Day! This is the story of Seyth’s graduation, but the rest of his story will follow.