The Last Dennis Graduate

5:04 PM

My family has something of a legacy at CAC. We have graduated 7 kids through the school, today marking the final commencement. My youngest sibling and only sister, Rachel, walked across the platform to close one chapter of her life - with no small degree of excitement, I might add. And well I remember that feeling. My whole life felt in front of me - ripe and dripping with possibility. I couldn't wait to get out of high school. As the oldest of 7 kids and having spent a lot of time around older friends and adults, I had no patience for the stupid games played in high school - who's popular, who likes who, who's dating who, who's sleeping with who, who's getting into trouble, who got a new car, who's having a party this weekend, who's parents are giving them way too much freedom, who's gonna do what once they graduate...I felt like a little goldfish in a tiny bowl, swimming in circles, biding my time.

I couldn't wait to graduate. And in a very real sense to me, my life did begin again once I graduated. I met the man of my dreams a few short months after I graduated...seems crazy how young I was at the time, yet how certain I was of my feelings. And still am! I adored college and treasure every second of it. I loved being in a larger pond...swimming in some anonymity for once. But I also have grown to recognize the merits of high school and while sympathizing with the senioritis my sister developed, I bizarrely encouraged her to cherish the fleeting moments of high school. If only because I have learned that while some chapters seem to take forever to finish, the subsequent ones fly by. So, if you savor the ones you wish would zoom by, maybe everything will slow down to some extent.

I am proud to say my brilliant sister was the valedictorian of her graduating class, and I could NOT have been more proud of her. She was poised, eloquent, elegant, graceful and wise. She encouraged her classmates to live in the moments between the beginnings and endings. To define their lives by their actions and work and to take every opportunity to touch the world with God's love and grace. I was very very proud of her. She is my baby sister and one of my most precious friends. I will miss the dickens out of her while she's living the next chapter of her life in college. I envy her, too. I loved college so much, even the painful parts, that I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

So, my dear sister, Congratulations! I love you so much!

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