Monday, April 25, 2016

Graduation Day

Graduations are always tough for me.  They always mark the passage of time that progresses all too quickly.  So yesterday was Joe Morton's graduation from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Business Administration.  We had an extended family meal with family and close friends who have been family for over 20 years.  The guest of honor (beyond Joe) who helped us with the planning and purposing was Elin Alexander, a distance runner from Chicago who has come to have a special place in Joseph's heart.  So another young woman has seemingly stolen away another of my sons, but this is a double loss, because it was Joe who urged me to begin "the run" again.  A high point of our running last year was one run in Maybury State Park when we ran for about three hours plus on the trails, and then he continued on with Josh Bonno for another four in preparation for a 50 mile run in Northern Michigan.  It was on that particular organized trail run in August when "lightening struck," and he met Elin. Both of them had won their age group categories, and the rest is history.

This history brought us all to the Convocation Center yesterday, where those matriculating walked, heard a rousing and Faith based speech, turned their tassels, and became alumni in the blink of an eye.  Things have changed a bit.  Students now decorate the tops of their mortarboards rather lavishly, some garishly; however, some things don't change...  Time evaporates for me at moments like this, and I remembered when my Dad and I received degrees at Louisiana State University almost simultaneously in 1974.  I recalled the warm spring day in 1987 when I left the cocoon of Seminary and flew off into almost 30 years of ministry.  I was suddenly back at the Chapel of the Abiding Presence, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and one of my favorite professors, Dr. Nieting, who had been a missionary to the Far East, seemed genuinely pleased for me.  He had taught me well to appreciate the Letters of the New Testament.

Graduations remind me that time is waning for me to make a difference in this world.  And I wonder whether there are things that I've missed, people I've overlooked, and I begin to miss my adult children even more, knowing that when they became almost finished products and were decent to have around, they, too, began flying forth from cocoons of our own making...  

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