My family has been blessed with graduations, and I look forward to them.
There’s anticipation of the big day and travel to a prestigious campus of higher education. A speech geek, like me, actually listens to the commencement address. There’s always something that can be learned, and learning is fun. Pomp and circumstance is everywhere. The whole event says that something special is happening.
But the best moment is when your child crosses the stage to receive that little piece of paper that means so much. Nothing compares to the fullness of heart—the swelling of pride—knowing that your child had the courage and determination to go after his or her dreams.
Which is really about having hope for the future. And when you have hope, you have everything.
Then the real celebration begins. My family, like many, has the tradition of enjoying food, drink and joyful conversation at a worthy dining establishment.
This year, though, COVID-19 made other plans and kept us apart. Our daughter wore her cap and gown in Cambridge, Massachusetts while we watched from a computer in Northeast Iowa.
But the day remains significant. Most receive just one graduate-level degree in their lifetime. Moments like these need exclamation points.
Even from afar.
I’m no poet, but tried an iambic pentameter English sonnet to commemorate the event.
It turns out that sonnet-writing isn’t that easy. Shakespeare really does deserve to be famous.
Still, our graduate deserves to be recognized. And so, Olivia, I know you would probably rather have that steak dinner with family, but you’ll have to settle for a long-distance sonnet this year.
Congratulations on your graduation.
And congratulations to all in the graduating class of 2021, no matter how you’re able to celebrate it.
A graduation gift of only words
A virus fear disturbed graduation,
And parents, bewildered, cannot attend.
A quick zoom peek of our red-headed one,
Is all we get; say congrats and hit “send.”
Most likely to become a CEO,
Said MIT peers, classmates giving cheer.
We’ve seen it too, that heart and soul, you know,
You’ll be who you’ll be, without any fear.
Ambition, and drive, and accomplishment,
You’ve got the whole world, open wide the gate.
For twenty-six years, loving where you went,
We want you to know you were always great.
Our pride will cross a thousand miles today.
Oh heaven and earth can’t keep it away.