November 4, 2016
Grabbing a bag, I step out to the front porch and begin to gather the several newspaper rolls accumulated.
“If anyone has any newspaper to spare, our hospital needs it! We are completely out. Thank you!”
That was the message I read last night on a post by a local animal hospital I follow on Facebook. I tell myself this must why I had been putting off placing those papers in the recycle bin these past few weeks.
Panning the neighborhood, I notice heavy dew on the car windows and dampness on the ground. The sun was beginning its assent of the day. I confirm I have enough time to take the papers to the animal hospital before the graduation ceremony, as I didn’t want them to go without, first thing in the morning. It dawns on me that it’s somewhat a coincidence that I am running this errand to help the business and its people that just so happens to be the place my daughter worked through the majority of her high school years – since late July of 2014. My daughter called me when she had gotten the job. I was so very excited for her, and we agreed on a date when I would take her out to celebrate her success later that week. But before the moment arrived, our life paths diverged.
As I am heading out the door this morning, I pause, feeling I should go grab my camera, just in case. Though I squeegeed the windows and outside mirrors on the car, foggy condensation filmed once more before I ever left my driveway. The Interstate route I had planned to take seemed an unwise choice with the current construction causing merging havoc even under normal visual conditions. I therefore took an alternate route.
I’m sure there were many passing in cars and school buses, wondering about the woman standing near the side of the road with a camera.
Below the roadway fog hung low and converged over the Southern Illinois farmer’s field that butted against the Knights of Columbus parking lot on one side and a Rural Route and an Interstate on two others. This moment seems to imprint – identifying where I am on this planet, on the morning my daughter is to graduate.
Navy Boot Camp. My daughter graduated Navy Boot Camp today. I’m not certain exactly how the weather felt, north of Chicago because I wasn’t there. That is not how our connective life’s journey has it at the moment.
But I am thankful that she was able to join the Navy. It’s a good division of the Service for her. And I am thankful that I have a cousin (dear to me) who was able to help my daughter get started down that path. I am thankful that my son, her brother, was able to go to the ceremony and be there for her on this noteworthy occasion.
I am also thankful that I was able to watch the ceremony via live-stream and share that moment with my parents, her grandparents, even as they live halfway across the country from me.
Where is she going next? I couldn’t tell you. That is not a part of the connective life’s journey between us at this time. But for right now, I cheer for my baby girl from where we each stand, and I find ways to be thankful for that.