The past few weeks have been a busy one in the family: all three of us have graduated from our respective degree programs. I started the commencement marathon at the end of last month when I happily crossed the stage at St. Mary’s [recap to come!], followed by Tammy with her Associates from Gavilan College and rounded out last weekend with Lindsey’s double trips for her Bachelor’s and minor at UCLA. We’ve been busy bouncing from ceremony to ceremony but I’ve enjoyed every moment.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t until I was looking back through the pictures we took at my ceremony that I stopped to think about my dad’s obvious absence. With the three of us graduating, this would have been the year he would have probably hurt himself strutting around like a peacock because he was incredibly proud of his daughters’ achievements. I know he took every possible opportunity to boast about whatever it was we were doing at the moment. He would have probably been beside himself if he were here.
I will admit that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of my ceremony [it was one long and busy day], I didn’t think about him not being there but we were more aware of his absence at Lindsey’s graduation. Her first ceremony was held in Wilson Plaza, right in front of Janss Steps and while we were waiting for it to begin, my mom remarked how she remembered my dad walking those steps when we moved Lindsey into her dorm four years prior and how he said he looked forward to coming back for her graduation. It was bittersweet, watching her graduate and knowing that our biggest fan wasn’t there to whoop and holler with the rest of us. Though, we made the best of the situation, cracking jokes about how things could have been had he been there. Let’s just say things always work out.
But in the end, while we missed him, we didn’t let that overshadow our special days. It wasn’t a time to be sad that he couldn’t be here but to celebrate what we earned: educations that no one would be able to take away from us. He was there in spirit and that was all that really matters. He would have been proud knowing that his daughters kept pushing through all the obstacles that came our way to accomplish our goals.
We didn’t give up, Dad. We made it.
Happy Father’s Day.