It's an ending. It's a beginning too.
It's a celebration. A celebration not only because two sweet, hard-working kids are graduating, but also because they beat the odds. Two little babes who were born too soon are fighters. Survivors. Because a little boy who had to be tutored so he wouldn't fail Kindergarten is walking across the stage today with a 3.9 GPA as a NC Academic Scholar and a little girl who prefers solitude (and the company of her brother) now writes and performs plays in front of countless people, including her many, many friends.
They didn't have the easiest time of it. Biological father who walked away before they were even born. Health struggles. Five different schools before high school. Bullying over stupid nonsense. Inherited depression and anxiety.
They bore it all with grace and dignity. With kind hearts and open minds. With love and compassion for their fellow humans, even when that love and compassion was not earned or deserved.
They are my children. They are my heart.
Today we are celebrating.
Quietly, internally, I am celebrating myself too. Today is their day and will never be anything otherwise, but today? Today I am remembering long, sleepless nights. I am remembering prayers sometimes whispered and sometimes angrily screamed at a God who somehow gave me exactly what I always wanted and needed, even if the packaging wasn't at all what I expected. I am remembering, as a very young woman, praying for "just one". Just one baby, even though I was never supposed to be able to. Please God, just one.
It just now occurs to me, after all these years, that it was just one.
Just one boy.
Just one girl.
Two little hearts that were everything I ever wanted. God has a wonderful way of working these things out I guess.
Today, I look back at the scared, broke, broken, 22 year-old pregnant young woman who didn't know how she would be able to afford diapers. Who had almost no education. Who had no job. Whose husband walked away. Who was terrified and depressed and utterly beaten down. Who had literally nothing to live for except those two little brown-eyed babies.
I say to her, "Mama...you did okay."
Today is a good day. Today is a happy day. Today I am honored and humbled that there are many people all over this country and even all over other countries that are thinking of my children and wishing them well. Who have never even met them, but feel like they've watched them grow up. Who will be cheering just as loud when I write a sappy blog about their college graduation. If you are one of those people, I thank you. I appreciate you. You have silently lifted all of us more times than we deserve.
Today is about my children. The ones you know so well.
My son Jonathan.
My daughter Megan.
I am so proud I feel my heart might explode.
Happy Graduation day. I love you so very, very much.