Thirty-three years ago this past week, I graduated from high school at the tender age of 17.
I remember being in Church during the ceremony and, every once in a while, glancing over my shoulder to see my family beaming at me. My mom was so proud that she could hardly contain her excitement and it’s the memory of seeing her smiling face that seems most meaningful to me now.
She made the events of my Senior Year particularly special. For my Class Ring Ceremony, she and my family all wore their class rings, just so that we could take a picture of our rings together. For my Senior Prom, we went shopping for dresses and she bought me the best dress in the store (even though it was more expensive than the others) because we both loved the dress and she wanted to make me happy. Our home life wasn’t exactly the best and I know that she did her best to make up for that as much as she could. I remember us getting back from the Prom at 4am and she got up to make breakfast for my best friend, our dates and me. As a graduation present, she helped me pick out the prettiest initial ring and, as a surprise, she added a diamond; that was just her way ~ because I knew what the ring looked like, she wanted to add something I didn’t ask for or expect. For Senior Breakfast, Class Night and Graduation, she was my biggest cheerleader, but she stood back to let the focus be on me. Her face was always the one I looked for in the audience because it mattered to me to see her smiling. I might not have been the best student in the class, but that didn’t matter to her because I knew that she was proud of me anyway. So, as I reflect upon the memories I have of that year, I’m reminded of the wonderful things my mother did to make those experiences more meaningful.
Thank you, Mom. I love you.