This is not the first, but rather the final – and for that, today seems especially monumental. Between the two of us we’ve been college sweethearts for eleven-and-a-half of our almost 16 years together. You were there on my day, and I have proudly watched you walk two other times before this day.
Associates. Bachelors. And now Masters.
When you started this journey we were fresh off a career change, a statewide move, and a brand new family. Class-by-class you conquered these degrees, and for all the days it felt we’d never get to this place, here we are – with three little boys in tow, standing on the finish line.
Today is your day.
I hope you feel the grandness of our pride and the delight in which we celebrate all that you’ve accomplished because baby – this is a really big deal. Anybody can go to school when the bills are paid for and the responsibility of living a real life is someone else’s problem.
But you –
You have done all of this as a husband. As a father. As the sole provider for this little family of ours and you have done so with excellence, and attentiveness, and love for the people you care about the most.
The impact of this season on our boys will only grow with time.
And I will brag boldly about every team you’ve coached, every practice you’ve made, every precious day that’s meant anything to our sons. Because even though you’ve had your studies and papers, even though you’ve carried every burden of our family on your shoulders, you have always been there to cheer them on and watch them grow. They will never forget your drive, your determination, your faithfulness.
I know it hasn’t been easy.
Easy would have said no. Easy would have broken over the cost, and the time, and the trouble. Easy would have said some other season of life but not now.
But you –
You’ve never been fond of easy. And so you’ve run long and hard toward this goal and have done more than just finish.
You’ve finished well.
In case the crowd is wild today, or the lights are too bright to see beyond the stage, you can be sure I will be standing when your name is called, tears of pride streaming down my cheeks. I’ll most certainly be choking out cries of joy above the sound of our rowdy boys in the back of the Auditorium Theater, who I know will also be standing and cheering on their Daddy.