Last month Kyle’s girlfriend, and the young lady that I refer to as my “daughter-in-law.” Had her commencement ceremony at UMASS. She had already graduated, but due to Covid there was no ceremony. It was a bit of a cluster, caps, gowns and tassels were given out 18 months ago. So it stands to reason that some students were missing some of their gear. Holly had everything but one tassel, that she got a replacement for.
It was a graduation like I had never seen before. Graduates were not called up to walk the stage. Instead each “college” was called to have their students stand up, then the director of that college said, all degrees have been conveyed. What took the longest time was waiting for all the Johnny Come Lately students straggle in, and then the keynote speaker who just droned on forever.
But those 2 issues not withstanding, it was a beautiful fall day. We took pictures near the dorm that Holly used to live in, as well as the duck pond near the Fine Arts Center. The ducks didn’t bother me. (I have a well known fear of birds.)
As I looked at the pictures that we took I was so proud, and grateful. My son found a girl that he loves unconditionally, and she loves him the same way.
That doesn’t mean that Connor will ever be forgotten, how could he be? What it does mean is that I have chosen to be grateful for what I do have. Kyle and Holly, that love each other and love both Mark & I. The ability to have them in our lives makes me happy!
This rock that we live on keeps spinning, whether we want it to or not. Things change, love grows deeper, and sometimes loss does too. But I refuse to let that loss grow deeper. If I were to allow it to, the loss would steal all the joy that I have in my life.
Life is all about balance, work/life, love/loss/grief and the ability to balance all those things to remain sane. Some people would argue that my sanity has been affected by the loss of Connor. In some ways they might be right, but in other ways I have learned to compartmentalize my grief, so it doesn’t eat me alive.