Saturday, my daughter, my firstborn, walked across the stage and recieved her diploma. A teacher, a doula, an ER tech and now capped with her Masters of Public Health Education.
She is so accomplished.
And so full of grace.
She manipulates her (very hectic and very full) schedule so that she can have coffee with struggling friends. She opens her home to anyone in her circle that needs a meal or space to heal. She speaks words of life and love and laughter to her coworkers and her family.
And she is so brave.
Because she had only begun this journey when Dominic was killed–right before finals of her first semester. In spite of the inflexible and incomprehensible “official policies” of the university regarding even a parent’s or sibling’s death, she passed those finals WITH STRAIGHT A’s.
And she is doubly brave.
Just four years ago, this very weekend, Dominic sat on the stage she traversed, with the professors and deans and president of UAB. He had been selected to present the Undergraduate Address. Our family was included in a backstage reception and seated in the VIP section.
His memory echoed every footfall as she walked.
The death of a child is not only the sorrow of his or her parents. It is especially the sorrow of his or her brothers and sisters. Fiona was the first, she held each baby when we came home from the hospital. She and her surviving brothers have suffered a great blow.
Yet they are marching on.
Bearing their wounds and making a difference.
I am so very proud of each of them.