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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Saturday, June 23


Well, the empty nest is fast approaching. CONGRATULATIONS QUAID! The class of 2007 has officially done it, and my baby was in this class. He’s off for senior trip soon to Europe, and a couple of short weeks later off to college. Our nest will be empty, and my emotions run rampant on both sides of that fence. It’s a trip having your baby graduate. I guess when the oldest left home six years ago, it didn’t have quite the impact on my emotions because I still had one at home. This time, all the memories of my own high school graduation came back to me, the memories of when the oldest boy left home came to visit, and new memories and emotions just about took me over. It’s really strange to be so proud, sad, giddy, solemn, and anxious all at the same time.

I was also extremely sad and mad at myself this day for the following reason… Many years ago when Clayton was 6, and Quaid was an infant sitting in the grocery cart while I was shopping, I happened to be perusing the greeting card isle picking out a card for somebody. This was 18 years ago. I stumbled across a particular card while shopping that gripped my attention and my emotions. I read it through a couple of times as I looked at my little big man helping me shop, and my baby in the cart. I thought, “How wonderful is this card…how appropriate for a young man who’s about to launch into life on his own for the first time…” I purchased two of the cards and the blue envelopes that matched, and tucked them away with the intention of giving one to each of my sons on their graduation day.

Through a move from Texas to Reno, a move from Reno to Mississippi, and through a move from Mississippi back to Reno again, and through two husbands and seven years as a single mom from home to home over the years…these cards remained safe though fading in my keepsake file. I beamed the day I reached into the folder and pulled out the first faded card to give to Clayton six years ago when he was 18 and began his life as a man. Well…I went into my office on June 9, 2007 to sit in humility and honor to write in the card to give my baby. I COULDN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE!! My office however looks as damaged as Hurricane Katrina landscape minus the water. I freaked, I cried, I searched and tumbled through stacks of crap…I just couldn’t find it. With all the other emotions going on that day and with all the company in town for graduation, I just about fell apart over this silly thing. My husband tried to help, but as all of you men know…there’s just no helping a woman on a mission with tears in her heart.

Well…I pulled myself together and went on with the big day. Traveling to the venue of graduation, I somehow had visions of my own graduation on the football field at my high school in West Texas. I knew that Reno graduations are all held at Lawlor Events Center (University of Reno Basketball stadium and home to concerts, rodeos, etc…), but I just didn’t think it would be THAT BIG! We went an hour early to pick a good seat (yeah right). The lights were dim, and the place was FULL. There were 13 family members and 5 or 6 friends in our entourage that came to see Quaid off. Over 400 proud students of Robert McQueen High School walked the stage.

Yes, my eye leaked several times this day, and a few times for kids I didn’t even know (I’m such a sap!). It was beautiful, it was impressive, and my boy walked tall and I couldn’t have been prouder. I thought it odd that the high school orchestra (McQueen’s band is award winning and impressive), was seated with a lot of empty chairs. Later in the performance, the seniors joined the orchestra for one final song...thus the empty chairs. The high school choir was mounted in full dress and sang. The also award winning McQueen ROTC color guard did a nice presentation on a red carpet in front of the stage. The graduates all filed in, and through binoculars (yes…this one was big enough to need binoculars) I spotted my son with the help of my father-in-law that thank goodness grew up in big cities and had the wherewithal to bring binoculars.

One by one, we watched the young adults walk the stage. The video department made a really nice movie we watched over the course of 2007 that encompassed the seniors’ last year. Yep, my eye leaked every time I spotted my newest big man in action. They had a section of baby photos that received a lot of oohs, and ahas…they did a nice job. Due to the size of the venue, and the classy way it was all presented, it was dark in there, so my camera was basically useless. But in the bright sunshine of the outdoors, we captured the proud photos within this post.

WHOOHOO!!! I’M DONE!!! I have officially raised both my boys to the age of 18, and 24. They are now both official and both men of quality. August isn’t far away…then it will be the first time ever that neither one of my boys will come home at night. Half of me wants to party, the other half has no idea how that will be… Life, what a trip…

Well Quaid…your Mom SUCKS because she couldn’t find your card. But I still remember it, and it was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927. Believe it or not, the basics of life haven’t changed much from 1927 until today. I present to you at the end of this post the card you were supposed to get. May life bless you, and may all your dreams come true :) I love you son, and you did a grand job with a 3.57 GPA on that final report card.

-- copyrighted by Max Ehrmann in 1927 --
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.