As we head into May and look forward to June we’re also looking ahead at some disappointments: No proms, no graduations, no celebrations of any kind the way we were used to, the way we took for granted before March, before the pandemic became the top story of every moment.
But we are duty bound not to let the lack of celebration in the traditional sense dim the achievement, and in the weeks ahead there will no doubt be many tales to tell of this type.
For the moment, though, let’s place our focus on Kiah Gillespie.
Gillespie is the first female athlete from Meriden to be drafted by a pro sports league. She is the first of either gender to be drafted since John Jenkins was taken by the New Orleans Saints in the 2013 NFL draft.
Gillespie, a 6-foot-two power forward, a collegiate All-American out of Florida State, was drafted by the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
Certainly such a significant moment, being drafted by a pro team, would have included a gathering of family and friends. But that was another time. These days are different.
Gillespie was with Seminoles head coach Sue Semrau in Tallahassee, Fla., when the big news hit. She hasn’t had the chance to celebrate with anyone from Meriden in person, yet.
That day will come, of course. And it is a sign of the times, and a new kind of intrepidness that is becoming part of the new normal, that Gillespie, remaining in Florida because of the coronavirus, is able to transfer what might have been disappointment into a different kind of special moment.
“When I see my family and I have the opportunity to celebrate with them it will be even more sweet because we didn’t have that time to celebrate on the day,” she told the Record-Journal.
That’s the spirit. We can take all the celebrations to come and take that as our guide. And in the meantime, of course, offer our special congratulations to a special athlete, and a special person.