As I sat there, alongside my husband, my eldest daughter, her husband and youngest son in the warm South Carolina son, I watched as others entered the stadium, filled with anticipation and excitement. Each of them had a connection to one of the students graduating that day. As the faculty entered with their various hats and cords of specific honor, I was impressed with the diversity of people – the differences in ages – and I was amazed by the combined wisdom of these intelligent professors.
I’d promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Why do we do that, when we know tears of joy are inevitable? Do we need permission to shed those droplets of saline? I knew I couldn’t keep such a promise, so as the students paraded across the stage to receive their diplomas, I needed a box of Kleenex. I kept thinking of my now grown grandson, whom I held in my arms on the day he was born. Being a grandmother was one of the most rewarding of my existence. Watching him grow, day by day, not only in height, but in a quiet wisdom of his own.
I remembered the days he’d spend with us as a baby. I had the opportunity to see him shine on the stage and learn to think outside the box, without losing track of the truth. We watched him grow in knowledge, attending school with the same kids he first met in kindergarten. We saw a boy emerge into one who enjoyed consistency in his life. He wasn’t the least bit happy when his mom painted his room. His dedication to the Lord was evident by his constant reading of the Bible. He couldn’t seem to get enough of God’s Word.
When the keynote speaker spoke of the truth of success, another flood of saline poured down my cheeks. I knew this young man had learned early on his life, the importance of living with God as his guide. He was well aware that all success comes from God and that if we trust in Him, we will truly succeed.
My left side was turning red, when the commencement ended. I would have to work on the right side another day. In the meantime, I was loaded with pride for our grandson being the first to complete a college education.
Being a parent is filled with sacrifice for our children. There’s tuition to worry about, clothing, housing and so much more – wanting to be sure your child stays on the straight path, worrying if they aren’t home on time, waiting for a telephone call that doesn’t come. It’s so much easier being a grandparent. You can bathe in the glow of the warm sun, take in the action without worry, cry if you want to, and bust your buttons with the feeling of pride for the actions of your children and grandchildren.
And thus ended the main purpose of our trip. We would leave the following day for the arduous journey home, knowing that our Lord continues to bless our children.