Thursday, May 24, 2012

Michael Practices for Graduation

Thomas More College - May 24, 2012

My son, Michael, is inside the Conner Convocation Center practicing for his graduation ceremony from St. Henry District High School that will be held tonight at 7 PM.   I am waiting outside on campus.

As I sit on the grass, under a shady locust tree, it is hard not to notice this is a perfect May morning.  The sky is a beautiful blue with very few clouds.  There is a constant, gentle breeze that causes the tall blades of grass to dance around me.  Occasionally a student walks past with a smile or a hello.  There is the hum of a lawn mower that is slowly getting closer to where I sit.   Somehow it seems that my senses are delightfully heightened.

I am trying hard not to dwell on the importance of this day.  Michael is my youngest of five children.  He is the last child still living at home.   Intuitively I know, as a mother, this marks yet another chapter closing, not only in Michael's life, but in mine as well.

Reflectively, and without thought, I shake my head and shrug my shoulders.  So how did these 18 years with my youngest child fly by so quickly?   Did I get enough time to prepare him for this next chapter?  Did I have enough time to prepare myself?  Memories seem to rush through the barriers I strategically placed in my mind today.  Despite my reluctance to cooperate with these emotions, I feel a tear run down my cheek as I blink.

Lost to my surroundings my heart begins to swell with memories of all the precious moments of my son growing up.  All the smiles, laughter, and trials are quickly rushing as turning pages of a favorite book.  I feel my own hands placed on my heart with the impossible task of holding my memories inside my chest.  Softly speaking to no one I hear my own words, "We have made it my dear son. We have made it."  

I am so thankful and blessed for the tears that are now flowing down my face.  The tears that encapsulate the best moments of my life.  

As if waking out of a dream, I hear a lawn mower buzzing very close to me.  As I dry my face and stand up to move, I see Michael walking back to me.  He is carrying a sign that says, "Proud graduate of Saint Henry" and is wearing a smile on his face, just like the one I am now wearing.

Good luck tonight, Michael.  We have been practicing for this night for a long time.