Friday, May 7, 2010

Better Late Then Never

I began this post the night before Meagan's graduation from GCSU. It's been a difficult one to finish . . . not because of time restraints.

Before I began writing this post I lay on Meg's bed scanning the art work, cards, letters from friends, and posters on the walls of her apartment. Tomorrow this world she has lived in comes to its conclusion -- graduation procession begins at 8:45. Melancholy refrains of Pomp and Circumstance will usher in one of the greatest life transitions our daughter - and her fellow graduates - has yet to experience. Something inside me wishes she could stay with her tightly knit group of friends forever. Theirs has been a true community. I don't know of anyone who has enjoyed their collegiate years as much Meg.

Sandy and I never finished college life together. We did attend a private "Christian" college that was stupidly strict and bandied a world view that was both spiritually and educationally irrelevant. Meeting each other there was the only grand "destiny" we can extract. Now, more than 3 decades later we both have our sheepskins, and Sandy will finish a Masters at Harvard (4.0 GPA).

I am in the extremely cluttered living area (earlier Meg and her roommates were gushing with pride about how much neater their digs look, because the parents were coming). I don't have enough vocabulary to sufficiently describe the surrounding landscape! I decided to stretch out on the cushions - all that remain of a futon - spread out under a picture window. Above me the slightly pitched paddles of a ceiling fan steadily churn. Soft wisps of cool air brush my skin. It is so quiet I can hear the low hum of the refrigerator. Meg and Sandy are strolling throughout the shops of Milledgeville looking for shoes and dresses. Outside mother nature is pulling the shades on another day. Street lights wink and flicker. Artificial light is doing its best to hold off total darkness until the advent of another sunrise.

Saturday morning . . .

Commencement is outside. Justin, Josh, Sandy and I are sitting in filtered shade of a sprawling oak tree. As usual we are having a more fun than anyone should. Craning necks, big hair, gleaming bald heads, and an assortment of hats obstruct our view of the procession. 1,100 grads - swaying and looking much like penguins - are making their way toward the platform. Turning their tassels. Receiving their degrees. Flinging their mortarboards into the clear blue Georgia skies. The Recessional. And another life chapter is closed. They, as well as their parents and families, are immensely proud of their commitment to reaching this milestone. Most of them will be exchanging their academic robes for business casual (in Meg's case Planet Fitness wear - she is working with dad this summer). Tomorrow, will be like the first day of college - they will be adult society's freshmen again.

I think I can speak for thousands of parents . . . we, too, are a little nervous for you.

Meg . . .

As you have done, continue to do - Live life with eternity in view
Enjoy good friends
Enjoy community
Enjoy the Adventure