Four years ago my daughter crossed the stage on Findlay Field to pick up her diploma. We all sat through rain, wind and sunshine along with technical issues as her meticulously curled hair flattened and her refusal to use an umbrella remained firm.
The following is an open letter I wrote back then. Not only will hundreds of other parents relate to this over the next few weeks, it reminds those with little ones that it really does fly by.
Catch the wisps of memories now. Make time to soak in every bit of life, every milestone and even what I call “the dailies.”
To My Ray of Sunshine,
Your arrival into this world was no accident. You were prayed and hoped for longer than seems possible. At the news of your impending arrival, the joy we felt was beyond comprehension. We began praying at that time that you would be blessed with health both spiritually and physically, also that the Lord would guide us in raising you.
Your life so far has been more than we could have hoped or dreamed. Your beauty comes from deep within and you are a joy to all who really know you. You are filled with creativity, compassion and common sense.
From the first day you stepped into Mrs. McDill’s Kindergarten until now, school has been a mixed bag of joy, sorrow, frustration and friendships for you (believe me, we have felt it too!).
It is so strange that your senior year is coming to a close (probably not too soon for you, but beyond fast for me).
The middle has been filled with hundreds of beautiful memories along with sad and tragic ones. Through it all, you have handled so many more things with grace than I would have at your age. I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for how you have turned out and being allowed to have a front row seat to it all.
At this time, so many people have asked me (and I am sure you) about what is next. So many of those who ask, really don’t know you too well or they would realize, I certainly don’t have that answer. I am in no big hurry for you to find the next big thing, but will do my best to enjoy every little thing that comes our way over the next few days, weeks and months.
Just know this, you are deeply loved! Not only does your family love you, but also the Creator of the Universe loves you deeply. He only wants what is best for you. The difference between His love and ours is that He will never fail you.
We will continue to try our best to be supportive, to help guide and to show love, but we will fail and so will you. None of that will negate who you are and who we are to you, but if we use it as a stepping-stone instead of a stumbling block, we will come out ahead and rise above the things that make us fall.
Thank you for allowing me to be my weepy, sappy ball-of-Mom-self lately. Most of all, thank you for letting me be such a significant part of your life even after walking you to class on the first day of school.