May 15, 2020by Reverend Dan on May 15, 2020
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Last week, in a ceremony that didn’t happen, my oldest daughter graduated from college. She received a degree in English Education and already has a job teaching at a high school in the city where she lives.
I feel sorry for this year’s graduates. They are missing one of the “milestone” events of life. Whether it’s high school or college, they’re not going to get to put on those caps and gowns. They’re not going to get to walk down that aisle and shake the principal or the dean’s hand and get that diploma. They’re not going to get to move that tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other.
My daughter had her own little graduation ceremony on Facebook. She put all her honors cords around her neck (yea, I’m bragging), took a picture, posted it and wrote this the following. "I graduated college in a chair, at my desk, in my living room. I donned my honors cords and fuzzy Santa socks, feeling just as loved and celebrated as I would in person. To honor what I've learned and how I've grown, I will remain ever curious, finding the answer, then asking another question. There aren't enough thank you’s in the world that I can give to those who led me to this day but know that I am forever changed by the lessons you have taught me.”.
I’m a proud father, no doubt about it. The only challenge that day was seeing this woman sitting in the chair where I thought my little girl was going to be. The child with all those Barbies. The “read me one more story, Daddy” girl with ponytails sitting in my lap. The one who ran up to me every time I came home and said, “Don’t’ tickle me, Daddy”, which meant, “Tickle me, Daddy.” The one who put wrapping paper in her new “Easy Bake Oven” on Christmas morning and turned it on, sharing some Christmas fireworks. The one who one day put on so much makeup from her new makeup kit that when I turned to look at her, I jumped back in fear. The singing, dancing, dreaming teenager who couldn’t wait to get her license and get out on her own.
Where did my little girl go? I remember a song from the 1960’s that the Kingston Trio recorded. It’s entitled “Turn Around” and the lyrics of the first verse are what I expect every father feels at a time like this.
Where are you going, my little one, little one?
Where are you going, my baby girl?
Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl, walking out of the door.
Congratulations, Hannah. I knew this day would come. I just didn’t know it would come this fast.
“Father, Our children are small for such a short time. Help us to treasure those times and the memory of them. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”