Above: My brother's graduation over 25 years ago.
My son graduated today with high honors for academics. He is the first one of my two children to graduate and go off to college to study engineering in three months. People ask how I am feeling. I tell them I am so happy for my son that I'm not sad yet. Perhaps, the day he leaves for college, I will feel differently. However, I'm so thrilled to see him develop his gifts and talents and pursue his dreams. He may have detours to his goals, but he is ready to conquer those academic pursuits. How can I be sad about that? I didn't raise him to selfishly keep him with me forever. It has been an exciting journey watching him become his own person.
This graduation reminded me of one over 25 years ago. My younger brother received a diploma at his high school graduation. The day he walked in with the other seniors who he had been friends with since kindergarten was so momentous. He walked down the aisle looking straight ahead with his shoulders back and head held high. When his name was called to receive his diploma, he held it high in the air above his head as he waved it for all to see. The audience loudly applauded. His achievement was quite emotional because it was rare to hear of those with mental disabilities having the opportunity to graduate. And, he surpassed what others thought he would be able to do and achieved his own goals. His honors were a bit different than my son's honors, but they were just as significant. Each person does have his/her own gifts, talents, and abilities. A person doesn't have to have the highest honors to be valued and important. Graduation day is for all students who have received their education. Great time to celebrate one phase of life and on to another. Happy graduation to all graduates for their individual accomplishments and best wishes for a future path that is unlike anyone else's. Make your path your own and follow your talents and passions. Blessings.
Rhoda G. Penny