Weather: turned cold. We actually had to turn on the heat in the house because our company kept complaining about how cold it was. It rained a bit on Sunday on our drive home from Seattle but the ceremony was inside, so we were dry.
Friday: my parents, sister, and her family came into town. We had dinner together and visited before bedtime. I was super tired after a week of textbook collections and end-of-the-year stressors in the library.
The van: Don had a brilliant forethought a few weeks ago and reserved a twelve-passenger van for the week-end. With out-of-town company, two trips to Seattle and back, and limited parking it made since to get as many of us as possible into one vehicle. Plus our family members aren't comfortable driving in Seattle which is usually a challenge on a good day. The added benefit, we all got to be together to debrief the day's events on the way home.
Saturday: Baccalaureate was at 2:30 PM in St. James Cathedral. We had been warned that the church filled quickly so we left our home two hours early. Lucky we did, too, since we encountered a seven-mile back-up on the freeway. Don knew the way around using backstreets and secondary highways so missed the worst of it. The baccalaureate mass was "high church" with all the trappings of the best Catholic masses with processions, incense, and pipe organs. The SU Choir sang several hymns and seniors in the choir we assigned as service cantors. Carly cantored a song with two of her choir mates and, of course, I thought she sounded like an angel. Afterwards we ran into her choir director and the choir assistant outside the church and they had such kind words for us about Carly and her leadership in the choir. Choir has been a wonderful, safe place for all four years of college and all her best friends are choir members.
|Carly with Doc (right) and Lee (left), her choir professors.|
The College of Science and Engineering: held a reception for graduating seniors and their families after baccalaureate. It was really a swanky affair with wonderful hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Don wondered aloud where they got the money for it and then smiled and said, "Oh yea, we paid for it with our private school tuition." Several professors talked to us about having Carly in their classes and we were relieved to learn that she wasn't invisible to them. She is so shy and quiet.
|Seattle University Redhawks, colors Black and Red|
Party prep: after we got home and had dinner we set to readying the house for the party after graduation. Everything had to be ready before we went to bed because we were leaving the house so early in order to get to Seattle for graduation at 9:30 AM. My oldest daughter and niece arranged the REDHAWKS table with school paraphernalia and black and red candies (licorice and jelly bellies.)
Graduation: was held in Key Arena, the basketball stadium where the Sonics used to play before they were stolen away from our town (ahem.) Once again we arrived early in the van and found great seats facing the stage. Though 1200 students were getting their diplomas, the school was very organized and it didn't take that long students to file in and take their seats. I had fun watching the faculty advisors helping them since that is the role I play at the high school level. I love all the regalia they wear, too. Many of the professors look like they just stepped out of a time portal for the 15th century.
National Anthem: Senior members of the choir sang the National Anthem with Carly, our lovely soprano, supplying the song with the very highest notes. It was fitting that the very last time she sang as a SU choir member she sang the National Anthem, as if it were a send off from school to the rest of the world. Of course I shed a tear or two, as did her dad.
The speaker: was Jo Luck from Heifer International, an organization that works on world hunger issues by giving animals to cooperatives to better the health and finances of whole communities. She was very inspiring and talked a lot about dreaming big and doing something with your life to better the world for others. One cool thing about attending a Jesuit school, they really care about social justice.
|A big hug from her sister after the ceremony|
- The Sound of Letting Go by Stacia Ward Kehoe...a high school junior is getting fed up with her life which revolves around her autistic brother and his needs.
Open House: since the family was here for graduation we decided to have the party the same day even though it made for a crazy, busy week-end. We raced home, ran around the house setting out food that was catered by my neighbor and friend, and opened the house for the party within an hour of getting back. 72 friends and family members came to spend time with the graduate and we felt their love and support. Believe me.
I don't know if we said it enough, but we were so grateful for everyone that came and spent any part of the big week-end with us. We had a wonderful, if not exhausting, time. Thank you for joining in our celebration.
Father's Day: after everyone left and Don and I were getting ready to go to bed early, I remembered that I forgot to give my dad his Father's Day present. I got him The Storied Life of AJ Fikry because it is essentially a love letter from a father to his daughter. I turned it around and said that the book represented a daughter's love for her father. We had to run the gift over to the hotel where he and mom were staying and we stayed a while for a bit more visiting. So we didn't get to bed early after all.
Monday morning: 5:30 AM. Last day of school for the year. I really didn't want to get up when the alarm sounded. I guess there always has to be a last day of school each year, but why make it on a Monday? Ugh.
Words from the hymn, Now Thank We All our God, for the graduates:
O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With every joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us:
And keep us in his grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.