Graduation season brings about tears and happiness; bittersweet tears and bittersweet happiness. Tears that make us remember the "old days" and happiness for having them in our lives. We have a hard time letting go, but wish only the best for their days to come.
Now that my younger brother, Cami (which he utterly loathes being called, but he's still my chubby-cheeked, giggling little guy) is nearing the end, I am finding myself tearing up during musicals or on a Friday afternoon or after family meals. I can't hardly stand the thought that he will no longer be in high school, and that he will no longer be living in our childhood home, and that he will no longer be my younger brother. He just won't. He is becoming an adult and moving forward.
I hadn't even thought of the waterworks that would come with Alex's graduation. You see, the past few months I have been looking at his life with me; just beginning, at the starting block, and really going somewhere. I had forgotten this life, of 22 years, that was full of people that felt the same way as I do about Cameron.
His professor welcomed him to the stage, choked back a few tears (a big man with tears? Please!), and congratulated him on his success. Nearly word for word he said, "You're leaving some big shoes to fill." And I lost it. I watched this heartfelt and sincere exchange of handshakes and 'good-lucks' and fell apart. Let me explain...
A) This man, Alex, had a whole legacy before me. He had a whole family and a whole school career and a whole community of people that he touched. And he did just that-he touched each and all of their lives. Deeply.
B) This man is so impressive and so much and so amazing to me, that I am overwhelmed by the blessing that he is to me. Little, undeserving me. I'm astounded by the gifts and greatness he's been given.
And I'll feel the same about that younger brother of mine. I'll reflect on who he has become and who he will be, I'll be proud of all he has done and will do, and I'll be so grateful to call him my brother.
(And hopefully they'll both forgive me for so publically displaying them.)
I continued to cry just a little, let out a deep sigh, and thanked God as I watched him turn his tassel to the opposite side of his cap; the tassel that signifies the new part of his life and the great things he has achieved. And I remembered the speech that his dad gave only days before; he is, in fact, an answer to a prayer-a prayer made by many, many people, including myself.
Congratulations, Alex and Cameron, on your achievements and the turning of your tassels. I'm so proud of you both.