The season is here for high school and college students to walk across the stage to get that document saying they are officially ready for the next level. What the next level will be largely depends on what they decide.
However, I love this time of year for reflection purposes. At the high school level, and to some degree, the college level — what these students accomplished is also due to the love and support of family.
I remember when I graduated from high school. I was so excited to be one of the first in my family to go to college. I grew up in a family where women mostly stayed home with the kids and worked if they had to. On the male side — most, including my three brothers, went into the military after high school.
For me, becoming a journalist was a dream and I believed I could do anything. I did become a journalist and am definitely proud of what I have accomplished on that level. However, believing I can do anything is something tampered down a bit by life’s realities.
But, those days after high school and college graduation are great feelings of accomplishment in our lives.
Moving years down the road, another graduation moment I will always remember is one with my daughter. While she was 16 when her mom died and mostly had me officially adopt her to take my husband’s name and get her through her final year of high school — it was challenging.
She struggling to finish school. We struggled together. When she finally walked across that school stage that windy, rainy night in Arizona — she handed me this fake carnation. The rule for the flower was for all graduates to hand it to someone who made an impact in their lives.
For her to give it to me after struggling for some time after her mom died and her life changed — I was moved to tears. After giving me the flower, she walked passed me and put her arms around my dad’s shoulders and they walked away together. That image of pride and happiness will always be embedded in my mind.
As so many graduates are taking the steps to the next stage this month — it is a time for them to not worry about the what the future holds or how to pay for college — but instead to take a moment and enjoy the accomplishment, be proud of the hard work and thanks those around them for helping get them there.
For parents, grandparents and other family members — smile and take a breath, or just enjoy the importance of the moment without questioning what the future holds.
I love graduation season because maybe these ceremonies, parties and celebrations do force us to reflect a bit more. Something we should all do more often in the happy moments of our lives.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.