Saturday, December 17, 2005

GradHieuAted

Written after the fact, but posted as it was composed in my head at the time. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph.

Ahh, graduation. Three and a half years in the land of the flat and stinky.. and eight years later than it shoulda been, there I sat.. in a padded red folding chair.. centerstage.. of a basketball court draped in black. Above me, huge screens showed closeups and advertised video footage. Up there somewhere sat my family, broken, but present... and my friends both new and old. Goodtimes indeed.

Dad made it in Friday night after putting half a day in the office. A&J trucked in earlier from H-Town via Midland. We all had dinner at Rockfish and dad finally got to meet the 'friends' I always go to visit in Houston. :-) Conversation went well, better than expected and a good meal was had by everyone.

Mom and PhuDitty(and Wilbur) made it in with Dan, Linda, Rodney and Andy Friday night. J made her famous SodaChan with the Myer Lemons (drool) and the boys finally got their gifts that I've been meaning to send their way. Linda gave me some potato cakes (omg, they're soo goood!)! It was good to finally have everyone meet everyone else.. my bestfriends A&J meet Nick and my Mom and Phu and Dan and Linda aaaaand the my two precious buckets of sunshine!

Saturday morning was a tad rough with me worrying about everyone meeting up, but it all worked out. Nick, being the ball of sweetness with the golden heart woke up early to iron and brave the two hour ordeal to watch me walk. Dad was off somewhere up front snapping away as usual. Mom came with me but I lost her early on in the crowd. A&J brought Phu, and I ran around the Spirit Arena looking for the accursed "ramp".

Somewhere during the introductory speeches, a sad note sung in my head. Out there my dad was alone, taking the last set of pictures of me he'd probably take as a dad. All my life, he'd been there with a lens and film to capture the fun times, the awards, every single first days of school. And now, out there, he's alone, snapping away at me in my cap and gown. He's waited for this moment for 30 years, and there he was, alone. And I cried a little. It hurt just a little more when the ceremony was over... all I got was one picture with my dad.

But mom was there, with Phu, and they were cheering for me, too. Mom would tell me every mother's day and christmas and birthday... all she wants is my diploma in her hand. And now that she's getting it... yea, no pressure.. but now I can finally get her real presents!

What was probably the most heartwarming was having Dan and Family and A&J there. Dan was there when my family first came to the US, he saw me as a little person, and now has wonderful little people of his own. And he made the trek to watch me walk. In a few years, I will be watching Rodney and Andy walk, too! A&J have been there since I was roaming around in free t-shirts and baggy jeans. Theyve seen me through my rough times, bad boyfriends, and crazy jobs. They helped me through the insanity of this place, school, and bouts of homesickness. I was glad they got to see me put and end to the misery.

So the ceremony ended and Nick, A&J, Mom and Phu, Dan and Linda, and the boys went to eat at Gardski's. My most favoritest place to eat in Lubbock, ever. Dan took many pictures which I can't wait to see!! After everyone left, A&J and I opened up theGraduationCognac and toasted to another graduation.

Once again, thanks to everyone who made it, everyone who vmailed or texted in, and for everyone who let me know they were rooting for me, wherever they were. I couldn't have done it without you all. And goodness knows, I wouldn't want to every do it again, so thank you.. Thank you so very much for being my friends, for being my family.... and for being friends who have become my Family. I love you all.

2 comments:

Rafael said...

Congratulations, you wrok the heezee

TheQuotient said...

:-)