This past weekend I went to visit my daughter, Kari, at her college home. It struck me that this is the last time I will do this. She graduates in May.
I don’t know how many times I found myself playing out how this should have happened with Ryan. I was able to clearly envision him in his cap and gown. All done up in the West Virginia University colors. I could see him accepting his diploma; probably with honors. Hell, I could even see us at dinner afterwards to celebrate. I’m sure I had a smile on my face as I fabricated the impossible.
It’s not going to happen. That’s reality.
Oh, what an awful, heartbreaking feeling to return home and see him. After a weekend of watching young men and women filled with the hopes of a future, it hurt like hell. To see my son’s brilliant mind robbed of potential is really too much to bear. It was made worse when I walked past his plaque from the University. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I just stood there reading it over-and-over again.
This achievement means nothing now. Well, nothing that practically matters. Neither does his “Dean’s List” one from another semester. They are just parchment paper, framed to stress their importance, hanging on the wall. Now simply formal reminders of what was
lost stolen from him.
Then, to look at my daughter’s achievements, is just flat-out scary. It transcends the pride. What if her Dean’s List, and Academic Honor Society, and other scholastic awards become irrelevant in the scheme of things? I dare not think about this too long.