Graduation Day!!! Doors open at 8:00 am, but tickets are required. One more tricky tid-bit: when the chairs are full, the doors will close, even if you have a ticket–yikes!
We were up and out the door by 6:35ish and made excellent time. We were early enough to have the opportunity to park near the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, were commencement was to take place. We arrived by 7:10 am and there was already a line. We waited about 5 minutes, but as the line was growing longer by the moment we decided we should take our place. Taylor got out and put on her graduation attire:
She headed to her to the lower level and my dad and I joined the ever growing line. 45 minutes later, the doors opened and we were off to find our seats.
Taylor showed me approximately where we should be sitting at the “Dessert w/the President” and we were blessed with the opportunity to sit next to the floor and on the corner where the graduates emerged.
Not only were there 2016 graduates, but they had 50 year alumni to launch graduation. The golden caps and gowns of the stately crew were impressive. Taylor said she was excited to see, half a century from now, that could be her.
Next the alumni to be:
It was wonderful seeing the smile on her face (even if it looks blurry because she was walking). She knew she had worked hard and earned her spot on the carpet. Next approximately 1.5 hours of introductions, class speakers, a hilarious prof that was the keynote speaker, and so on until the announcement of the graduates began.
One graduate who will forever remain in my memory was a 75 year young woman who began college in 1970. She stopped because she thought it was important for her children to finish before she did. NOW it was her turn. At 75 her dream was fulfilled. She earned and received a standing ovation.
Not too much later Taylor’s name was called:
I think even you can see the smile on her face. Then the long walk to the back to pick up her actual diploma (what she received on stage was empty). On the journey, she had to pass by me. I was noticing others were stopping to waive at family members and was hoping Taylor would pause long enough for a steady picture:
She did, as you can see, but she did even better:
She came over and let her crying, but proud mom hug and kiss her, stopping the line for just a few moments. Oh, her dad would be so proud. Tears.
After the ceremony ended she/we went out for a few pictures. We missed pictures with my brother and sister(tech, in-law) Tom and Jolene. We did catch a few pictures with my dad, Brittany (who also graduated), the Nimtz clan and, of course, Uncle Bobby and Aunt Kathy. Some of these wonderful people were planning on waiting in the overflow area but at the last minute were blessed with tickets so ALL attended the actual graduation! What a blessed surprise for all of us!
We took a walk with Archie’s brother and sister, Bobby and Kathy, who came up from VA, then home. We ate with additional family that came in (more to come on the who’s later) but by 4:00 pm Taylor was not feeling herself. By 5:00 family was heading out and Taylor went to bed feeling very ill. Again, not the way we had planned the day for graduation. Her body had just had enough.
Right after she laid down we heard thumping in the fireplace. Do you really have to guess? Really? Think about it. If you’re clueless, refer to A Lesson from a Bird.
That’s the third one since Archie passed. Seriously, this is getting to be too much. I digress… . It all worked out and the bird is flying free with his (or her) family (somewhere other than in my chimney).
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (ESV)
Taylor set a goal to graduate from her beloved Grace College. Though many (many) difficulties have emerged and she could have walked away and quit and no one would have thought poorly of her, she persisted and accomplished her heart’s desire. We know there is a purpose for all of what has transpired and we will trust in our heavenly Dad for His timing in the explanation.
His purpose will stand.