Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where every entry is always an expression of some piece of gratitude from my life to start my week off on a positive note, which for today is for my twin 18-year-old nephews, Noah and Jacob, who just graduated from Northwood Academy in Summerville, South Carolina.
Originally, I was planning on being with them for their graduation weekend to cheer them on as they picked up their diplomas, but due to COVID-19, social distancing, and a variety of other family complications, I didn’t end up making the trip there, much to my dismay. When I learned shortly thereafter that their school was only allowing the immediate family to attend the graduation ceremony anyway, it didn’t make me feel any better, as I really just wanted to be there in person to support my nephews, even if it had meant I was only going to be able see them after the ceremony was over. Regardless, when my sister let me know that through the modern marvels of technology, I could still watch them graduate via Facebook Live, my ego initially got the best of me. Out of sheer anger and resentment, I told myself I was going to boycott it. Thankfully, my 12 Step recovery program and my Higher Power are much stronger than my ego nowadays, because as the clock struck 3pm this past Saturday, I went with the urgings of my Spirit and clicked the link my sister had sent me to actually watch their graduation.
While I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did as I watched the ceremony, which was driving to a prior engagement to see a friend of mine who lived over an hour away, I was truly grateful I did it anyway. That small voice that had convinced me not to miss this opportunity, even from afar, was surely something I felt gratitude for. Nevertheless, watching them walk into the very same auditorium I had once been with them during a church service a few years prior, brought back some familiarity and connection. I smiled as each of them passed by the cameraperson videoing the entire event and felt a rush of warm love and proudness being their Uncle. I had to chuckle a little as well, as the goofy facial expression on Noah reminded me so much of the one I probably had on my face when I was about to graduate from high school, one that most likely looked a little cocky in nature, but one also well-deserved for all the years of hard work that had led up to it.
Next came the initial prayers and speeches from the principal, the salutatorian, and the valedictorian, and as I waited with baited breath for the names of students to begin being called, it wasn’t long before I heard Jacob Allen Curry roll across the microphone. As he walked up on stage I learned he had been high honors in his class, which I didn’t know, and that was absolutely something I felt gratitude for. Before he left the stage, he stood there for a picture, which thankfully once again due to the modern marvels of technology, I took a screenshot on my phone leaving me a nice snapshot almost as if I had been there taking it. Next in line was of course his brother Noah Andrew Curry. If there is one thing I’ve always admired about Noah is how much he and I are alike, in posture, in attitude, in outward appearance, in behaviorisms and more. Noah definitely commands attention wherever he goes and has an air of confidence, which always brings a smile to my face whenever I see that because of how much I at times can be just like that. And once again before he left the stage, I was able to grab another snapshot with him and his diploma in hand grinning from ear to ear.
When the ceremony drew to a close after the rest of their classmates received their diplomas, I watched as they all turned their tassels in the opposite direction to now show they were graduates. It brought back fond memories from long ago of when I did the same and gratitude for Noah and Jacob having finally completed high school, knowing many others have often not made it and dropped out.
As my nephews headed out of the auditorium and the ceremony officially came to an end, the only feeling I had at that point was gratitude, not just for them finally graduating of course, but also for the fact that my Spirit and my 12 Step Program had triumphed instead of my ego. Because in all honestly, I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if my ego had won out that day and convinced me to skip it, which is why I chose to dedicate today’s Grateful Heart Monday to my nephews Noah and Jacob, for their graduation from high school, and for actually still getting to see it…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson