My son, @, you graduate today. All the days that I said to myself that there was all the time in the world before now have faded away and here we are just hours before your moment in the spotlight walking that platform. You are so ready like we all were to be “outta there!”. Headed off to college your perspective will soon become what each of us has said to our children on countless occasions…”I would not go back for anything”. You worked so hard to get here doing your best in just about everything and I am so proud of you. You got all A’s this year so you didn’t have to take finals. You were inducted into the National Honor Society for music and will wear your pink cords to commencement. You finished your cap with a little more drama than I’d like but it’s done and you like it. You have been accepted to a good school in a program of your choosing and an opportunity to study in Germany for a year making 4 years into 5. Totally worth it for you. I’m filled with pride today that you made it here. I’m proud that I helped get you here and that you are an adult that I am fortunate to know. As with any child, there are still so many things to learn but that is the game and we all are playing still. I am looking forward to seeing how you unfold your life as you are away. Looking forward to watching how your values grow and how you employ what you know and what you will learn. At the same time I still see the little boy with conjunctivitis sitting on my hip watching TV so many years ago and I want to scoop him up and hug him tight and go play ball with him in the back yard. Those days have gone and here we are standing in the doorway to your future and it’s so bright Johnny. I wish for you all the things I didn’t do and don’t have. I wish for you joy and happiness and serenity. I wish you fortune of all kinds and more happy days than not. So as you go, know that I will always be standing behind you watching you experience life. Know that you can always come back when you need even if that is just to sit quietly with no words. Know that you will never have a bigger fan than me nor will there ever be anyone who loves you more. I am so proud of you so as you go, go with pride and a smile. Hold that beautiful head up high and your face to the sun and remind yourself that you did it. Know that you can do and be anything you want because this is your life. As you go, go with faith and perseverance and never ever give up who you are or what you want for anyone or anything. Stay true to yourself. As you go, go with hope and optimism because they are sometimes the silver lining that you may cling on to if things get hard. As you go, remember the lessons you were brought up with that make you the good person that you are and be as good to others as you would want them to be to you. As you go, go with determination and always keep putting one foot in front of the other because that’s how you eventually get to the other side even if the path is a bit winding. As you go remember that your family is your foundation and you can always count on us to see you through hard times and share the best of times. As you go, go ostentatiously because you were never average, never settled, never quit and never thought for one minute that you couldn’t because you always did. So as you go, and your life develops and you become busy and involved in the life you are about to begin building, remember to turn around now and again. I’ll be there…always.
I love you John!