Today is the last day of school for kids in our region. Kidlet finished her exams on Monday and had the rest of the week off to decompress. Next year at this time, hopefully, we will be watching her graduate from high school, puffed with hope and dreams.
There are others for whom it isn't as straight forward. They drop out before finishing their diploma. Parenthood; illness; finances; addiction. Life gets in the way of their dreams.
Today my colleagues and I watched with pride as the young intern from our office received her GED (High School Equivalency Certificate) diploma. We had watched her work towards this goal as she worked at our office, mothered two small children and planned her upcoming wedding.
There is something about that processional music that gets to me -- my eyes well up and a plum sized lump lodges in my throat rendering me speechless to the delight of my co-workers. Witnessing people achieving their goals is overwhelming and emotional for me. Everyone had a story - the young Colombian man so grateful to be in Canada; the teenager battling his mental illness; the young unwed mother wanting to be a good example for her child; the middle aged black woman who declared "it's never too late to make your dreams come true" as she tossed her grad cap in the air with wild abandon. They each have their reasons; each have reached an important milestone.
They stood there in perfect rows of black robes posing for the picture - grinning, clutching hard earned diplomas - optimism and excitement washed across their faces. We stood back, proud and silent witnesses. Today, everything seemed possible.