When I was 36 I prayed for something larger than myself. I wanted to build something that would outlast me, something that was more important that just me and what I wanted. A week later I got a call that my oldest nephew had been accepted to Southern Polytechnic University’s Mechatronics degree program. And there the adventure began.
When he was in high school, I whispered in his ear that he should come up to Atlanta to go to college. I would be there, and I could help him with whatever he needed – food, money, laundry, car service, books, and supplies, whatever. I promised him that whatever he needed, he would have. And indeed that is how it went. He called when he needed things and there was much fun that was had I was his “Almost parent” and I loved it.
He had to learn a few things on his own, like why you don’t take an 18 hour course load of all difficult upper level classes your first semester. That was a tough one for him. Or why you don’t drink all night before finals, or why you don’t mix light and dark liquor. Things like why you want to talk to your advisor and why you do want to make friends with the ladies in the administration office.
Today he is graduating…today I will watch this man walk across the stage and accept what he has earned and worked very hard to obtain. My heart is about to burst with pride. My father and I will be there to see him (he says it’s a bigger deal to us than it is to him, which is probably true).
And I am ever so thankful for that day my prayers were answered. Everything was worth it to see this young man graduate today. He did it. Today he reminds me of what is truly important in life – it is not the things that we have, no matter how pretty or luxurious. It is those whose lives we touch. It is the promises we keep. It is lifting others and building something bigger and more important than yourself.