We had to get up LONG before the sun arose and for the first time in years, I had to run around the house waking everyone up. We stumbled around and dressed and drove into a heavy,thick fog in to the capital city.
In the last three days, more than 6000 students received degrees from the University of South Carolina.
And in the midst of the mayhem that comes with that, my boy received his degree in Biology, with honors.
This past Thursday, in a downpour of rain, we moved him home...from his apartment, with all his worldly belongings. His younger brother, who will head to this same college in the fall, helped to move his brother one more time. He lovingly points out that he has been moving people to colleges for more than 9 years now.
It's good to have a brother who loves you.
As we found seats in the arena where the 9 am service was held, with thousands of other happy families all around us, the younger one said "Man, I'm hungry... does this place have hotdogs?"
No, son... no hotdogs at graduations....
We sat with his girlfriend's family and we anxiously watched and waited while the graduates assembled until we saw our own take their place.
And then that familiar, beautiful ceremony, the conferring of degrees, took place.
And somewhere in there, about the time he got up to take his place in line, my heart filled until tears poured from my eyes. In an overwhelming moment, in a single flash, I recalled two things.
I recalled that for virtually every single day that I was pregnant with him, I was on bedrest.
I laid, on doctor's orders, on my left side and I prayed so very hard for him to come to be and for him to be alright.
And he was.
And then I thought about when he was not quite three and through a series of medical issues that began with the flu, he and I spent weeks in a pediatric care unit, some if it in intensive care, as he fought for his life and as I prayed, again, for his life to be spared and for him to still be alive to be my child.
And he was.
For this, I am so grateful.
His very life has been an extraordinary gift to me, in so very many ways.
For his being so many good things... honest and hard working, calm in the face of trouble and life, in general, sensible and sensitive and funny, intelligent and a very thoughtful and loving man, I am so very grateful.
I am thankful for this young woman, who is a special part of his life. She, likewise, is one of the most genuine, sincere and beautiful young women that I have ever known. We are all blessed for her presence in our life and I am delighted by the love she shares with my son. As she continues her education this fall, she will be in my prayers continually.
And so today, as he stood, tall and handsome, clad in the garb of academia, striding forward to take what he has worked so hard to earn, I prayed again, for this amazing man, who is my son. I wish him every hope and dream come true, but I also wish him a life filled with love and family. I pray for strength to face all that his life will bring him, for through him, I was brought to realize how fragile, how very tenuous is that attachment.