For the past week or so I have been happily reading the Facebook postings of friends writing about their children’s graduations from college. It’s an exciting time for all of my friends and their children and I congratulate all on reaching Diploma Day!
Now this weekend it’s my turn and I really can’t believe it. It’s feels as though life is on fast forward and I intend to hang on and enjoy the ride.
I am reading the commencement letter outlining Fordham University’s May 18 and 19 graduation ceremonies and already I’m feeling a mix of conflicting emotions. My son is really and truly going to graduate from college. Wow! Part of me wonders how this day arrived so quickly and the other part of me says of course it’s time for him to graduate. Part of me is relieved that I don’t have to worry about those monthly payments any more (a lot of pasta was eaten to stay in the budget) and the other part will miss traveling to New York City for occasional weekend visits.
It’s all part of life’s super duper fantastical adventure and I’m just going to roll with it. I am going to try to stay in the moment and not think about how wonderful it would be if my son’s father were here to see him accept his diploma. I know he’s as proud of our son as I am and I’m sure he has played an important but invisible role in guiding our son to this amazing day. He will surely be with us in spirit and loving every minute of the graduation ceremony.
The only advice advice I want to pass along to my son and this year’s graduates is this: friends and family make your world go round and make sure that whatever you do, you do it with passion.
About ten years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Anna Quindlen gave the commenment speech at Villanova. It’s no surprise that her speech was superb and every once in while I will take it off my bulletin board and read it for inspiration. Here a little bit of Quindlen’s insightful speech:
“So here’s what I wanted to tell you today: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurism one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?”
“Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the watergap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.”
“Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is nor leisure, it is work.”
“Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad.
Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you gew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.”
Congratulations Class of 2012!!!!
You Did It!!!
Now Show Us What You’ve Got!!!!