Jacqueline Lutz offered these four BFFs, including her daughter Nayla MacCorkindale (back right), a keepsake sweatshirt to remember their graduation year. Then, adhering to social distancing, the girls showed off their new shirts in Lutz’s front yard in Whonnock. (Jacqueline Lutz/Special to The News)

Sweatshirts indicative of COVID upheaval for Maple Ridge grads

A Whonnock mother has keepsake shirts made for four besties not realizing the true grad experience

When Jacqueline Lutz was pregnant with her daughter, Nayla MacCorkindale, she remembers thinking how cool it would be that her eldest was going to be graduating high school in the year 2020.

Lutz looked forward to the celebrations Nayla would have, and thought of all the fantastic memories her daughter would cherish from that special ocassion. Afterall, that was her mom’s experience, and Lutz is still close with several of her high school friends. So, she predicted the same for Nayla and her three closest friends.

Well, never would Lutz have been able to predict the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and how that would impact on her daughter’s graduation – or the grad ceremonies of all Grade 12s in 2020.

The girls learned about a month ago that there would be no prom and no in-person graduation ceremonies. However, Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary – Nayla’s school – will be hosting a virtual ceremony, with the kids joining the online festivities wearing a cap and gown.

“It’s not fair,” her mom said.

So, to give Nayla and her friends a keepsake they’d be anxious to hold on to for years to come, Lutz decided to have custom sweatshirts made up.

They say Class of 2020, with the “0”s represented by rolls of toilet paper. And underneath, it says “The year sh.. got real.”

Each of the girls was given one of the shirt.

“They just loved them, and were thanking us for doing this for them,” Lutz recalled.

Since Nayla’s father is immune compromised and the family is adamant about social distancing, they had a picture of the foursome taken in Lutz’s front yard, arms outstretched (indicating adequate physical distance, but also to give a clearer view of the shirts).

Nayla, Rylee Cumarasamy, Katrina Rubenuik, and Jordan Rodgerson have been playing softball together for the past six years, and while MacCorkindale attends Samuel Robertson and the other three are graduating from Thomas Haney Secondary, they’ve been besties for all those years.

Lutz describes the girls as troopers through all the virus upheaval, and said they’ve seemed relatively unfazed by the lack of graduation festivities.

But Mom predicts the tears will flow next year, when Nayla’s younger brother, Davin, graduates. It’s expected he will have the full graduation experience, and Nayla will see and long for all that she missed.

“Thank God they don’t know what they’re missing,” Mom said, recalling how her daughter picked up her grad gown the last day the store was open, and Nayla queried if she’d ever have a chance to wear the $1,000 dress.

“I don’t know, maybe this is harder for the parents. The girls are actually dealing with it so well,” Lutz added.

“I find it heartbreaking, but that’s the reality of it.”

In the coming weeks, the foursome will be doing a mini-graduation party, just for them. Again, it will be held at Lutz’s Whonnock home, where they had the photo shoot with the sweatshirts, and the girls and their family will have professional photos taken in the garden wearing their grad gowns.

“We’re just trying to make this start of summer as special as we can,” Lutz said, still laughing at the shirts and how they encapsulate how COVID has impacted everyone so much – and in so many different ways.

.

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusGraduation 2020maple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

LETTER: CERB is simply worsening overdose issues in Maple Ridge

Taxpayer money is going to help buy more drugs and increase cases of death on local streets: Reader

Ridge Meadows Soccer welcomes former Whitecaps coach to club

Craig Dalrymple will join organization as new sporting director

Problems delay opening of sheets at Planet Ice Maple Ridge

Getting hold of parts, making repairs mean rinks won’t be available until January: facilities manager

SHARE: Smoky skies cast Alouette Lake in a rather haunting light

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read