Since Dominic ran ahead to heaven we have celebrated four graduations and a wedding.
Wednesday night was another one. My daughter, Fiona, graduated nursing school.
We are so excited for her!
And, as usual, our family rallied round, pitched in, showed up and made a great fuss over the accomplishment.
It was beautiful and hard all at the same time.
Because time and time again we join hands and hearts to celebrate an achievement, a milestone, a special moment or a holiday and there is always, always, always one missing.
Every photo is just slightly askew- one daughter,
three two sons.
We’ve gotten good at closing ranks, squeezing out the space where he should be standing. But our hearts mark the gap.
Our hearts will always mark the gap.
I am much better now at actually enjoying these things-I love the way my daughter’s friends surround and encourage her, I laughed at the antics of the children that enjoyed running from adult to adult, getting more attention than they knew what to do with. I sat and listened with great pride as Fiona gave the closing remarks to her graduating class, drawing from a deep well of wisdom that includes heartache as well as hallelujahs.
And it was all good. Really, truly good.
But you have to go home eventually.
Hugging necks and saying “good-bye” is when it always hits me-I hug harder, cling longer, make sure to whisper not only “I love you” but everything I need to say-just in case.
And grown children text their mama so she knows they are safely home.
Dominic’s legacy is this: We never miss a chance to celebrate one another.
We cling to the good and try to let go of the bad.
We love fiercely and openly and are not ashamed for one minute of our tears or our laughter.
Because you never know.