A milestone happened in our family on Saturday…Ali graduated from high school. It was such a beautiful day.
My brother, Pat and his family, and my best friend, Tina and her daughter, Grace joined us for commencement. It felt good to be surrounded by those who are close to me and those close to Ali. Ali was pleased they were there to support her, as these two families have always been since the day she was born. It seemed very fitting that out of all of the people we invited, they, along with Bill’s parents, were the ones who were in attendance.
As soon as the band began to play Pomp and Circumstance, I had goosebumps. My mind raced as I fought back tears. I remember thinking, “How can this day be here already?” The last thirteen years of school sped by me. These past eighteen years of her life sped by me…I did my best to teach Ali all I could and to raise her in a way that we believe honored God. I knew at that moment, my heart strings were being stretched and loosed more than they ever had before. I could almost feel them. Tears began to form. And I also kept thinking, “I need to soak all of this in. I need to soak all of this in. Lord, help me to soak this in.” I was so proud and so nervous, all at the same time. Proud of the young woman Ali has become and is becoming. And so nervous…I guess because this was a new experience for me and nervous for Ali as she begins this new journey of her life after high school.
Then I saw her come through the tunnel. She was walking next to her cousin, Evan. She looked so happy. She looked so grown up. …And she was both.
I took as many pictures as I could. But being so far away, when she was moving, some are blurred. As the ceremony progressed, it soon became time for the nearly 300 graduates to receive their diplomas. When her name was called, she glided across the stage, proudly took her diploma, shook hands with the administration, got her picture taken, and glided back down to her seat.
To close out the ceremony, they turned their tassels, many tossed their caps in the air, and were guided out row by row of the arena. We whooped and hollered as Ali strolled by with Evan. She looked up, had the biggest smile on her face, and waved to us proudly. I beamed.
The hour and a half seemed like a few minutes. My life would be forever changed. I know have a graduate. I’m excited to see where God will take our beautiful girl, and I’m anxiously awaiting to see His plans for her life unfold. I’m so very proud of Ali. I pray God blesses her and keeps her. To Him be the glory!
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