Family: Graduation is a family affair

There is a lot of news going on in this old world.

Some good, and, no doubt, some news that is not good at all.

This weekend I was fortunate enough to cover some of the good news.

I covered a graduation.

Covering a graduation definitely fits into the good category.

It was good, very, very good!

The grads, dressed in their finery, were like eye candy for all of us who shared with them this one special moment in time in their lives.

I did my very best to stop time by capturing those special moments of the evening through my camera lens. I have no doubt that some day, somewhere, someone will look at a photo of that long ago day and say “oh look at that, I was there, I remember that day, I remember it well. Look at me. I look so young.”

I came across a photo of my own Grade 12 graduation the other day.

The photo is slightly crumpled and torn slightly in one corner, but there I am in a pale yellow dress with masses of my dark brown hair pinned up high on my head, adding several inches to my 5-foot-2 frame.

I looked ridiculously young probably because I was.

Hampered by a tight fitting skirt, I had to take about a million steps to make it across the stage to receive the coveted diploma being held ceremoniously and most patiently by the high school principal at the other end.

Later my brother, sitting in the audience, took great delight in mocking me about the tiny steps I took as I walked across the stage.

But, the pride in his eyes was evident and I remember his words still.

“I’m proud of you, Treen,” he said. “I never did that. I never got there.”

I don’t remember my brother going to school very much at all, only working, always working and when he wasn’t working, he was singing and playing his guitar and making us laugh.

And still, when I look back I’m grateful for the brief heartbeat of time when I had a brother. A brother who was happy to be the wind beneath my wings when I made those small, mincing steps across the stage dressed in a pale yellow dress with my hair piled high on my head.

And I’m grateful I had a brother who teased me and laughed with me and taught me that you can do pretty much anything at all when your family has your back.

This year, I watched a young graduate take part in the grand march with a very special escort by her side. That escort was her grandma.

I watched the young lady and her grandma and I saw the love shared between them.

And I felt the prick of tears tease the corner of my eyelids.

Today’s graduates are no different that yesterday’s graduates.

They have worked hard. They are young, so very young, and only just beginning. They have so much to look forward to.

But, today as it was in the past, and, no doubt, as it will be in the future, sharing graduation with those dear hearts and gentle people who have traveled with you on your journey is one of the key ingredients to making the trip worthwhile.

And, to me, walking in the grand march with your grandma as your escort is a true testament to the fact that the road to graduation is not a solitary journey.

It’s a family affair!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake.

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