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Katie’s Graduation

The big day finally arrived. My youngest, the reason I worked so hard to live on less, finally graduated high school.

It was a bittersweet day. I spent close to 20 years striving to work less so that I could spend as much time with her as possible. I swam against the current as a single mom but this day marked the moment where the journey was finally over.

My baby is now an adult even more so than she was when she turned 18.

A friend of mine drove over four hours to celebrate with us. The first thing we did that day was surprise her with flowers.

The next thing we did was take her and her boyfriend out to Olive Garden. We wanted to make this a day she would never forget.

We gifted the kids with a round of gag gifts. Her boyfriend C really got a kick out of one of them!

As we told him, we figured that since he was going into the Army he could use the guy for practice! Oh how he laughed! His real gift was a journal in which we inscribed “to keep track of your future adventures with Katie.” He was touched.

We also got him a set of crowns so he could remind Katie of who was the “king” – complete with spares for when she knocks them off his head! She got a tiara, of course – she is my princess!

After digging out some other gifts Katie finally got around to her big one from my friend. I’d given her my gift earlier because I didn’t want to detract from the moment. Here’s the expression on her face when she realized that my friend had gifted her with a pair of diamond earrings.

Once the dust had settled C had another surprise for my daughter. I was the only one aside from him who knew his plan. He smiled at her and announced. “I’ve got something to go with those earrings.”

That was when he proposed.

After all of that we still weren’t done. We drove them around and took lots of photos of them to mark the big day.

Once we dropped them off so they could do their thing prior to graduation my friend and I went out for a good stiff drink to mark the end of an era. We both needed it by then. My friend had known her since she was a baby and I needed liquid strength to get through the graduation ceremony. Not only was my youngest daughter graduating, I was lost. I’d spent so many years trying to be the best mom I could be, trying to spend as much time with her as I could. It didn’t help that, like my daughter, my dad had been dying of terminal cancer as well when I had graduated from that very same high school. I was filled with bittersweet memories, all of which came to the surface as I sipped on my Jack and Coke.

Thus prepared, we headed to the stadium for the graduation ceremony. We looked around, relieved to see that her dad, my ex-husband, actually managed to attend. He’d had Hospice take him. Once the ceremony finished we met up with the kids and took some more photos. I’m the one with the red shirt and big boobs.

So this is it, folks. The end of an era. My goal of raising my daughter is complete. Katie has not only graduated high school, but she’s engaged as well.

I’m both proud and sad.

11 Comments

  • Linda Sand

    Congratulations on a job well done, Mom Annie.

    Congratulations on a job well done, Katie.

  • mork

    You both look great! What a wonderful day for both of you as well. I see great new adventures for all of you on the horizon. Congratulations!

  • Luisa in Dallas

    Goodness, I remember the posts with her as a little girl. Time flies.

    Good job, Katie, for graduating (and for being your mother’s rock when she was hurt) – and best wishes for your engagement, too!

    • Annie

      She’s grown up soo fast. It’s hard to believe that the time has flown the way it has. I’m not sure what to think about it.

  • plivington

    Wow, what an exciting and wonderful day. You should be so proud of yourself, raising a darling daugher and being such a fantastic mom. You have worked SO hard and deserve to be very proud!!!

  • Lyn

    Annie,
    It’s wonderful that you devoted yourself all these years to raise your last child. A job well done on your part is one where your child has the knowledge now to go out and be an adult on her own. Pretty sure you have done an excellent job with that. With her life choices moving forward, it’s time for her to go on her own and find out the world before her. It won’t always be easy. Am sure there will be many times ahead she will look to you for your advice.

    So now is the time to think about you and what you want to do moving forward. You knew the time was coming. It does for all parents with children. Think about things that will make you happy. It’s ok to be a little selfish now. Whatever you do moving forward, your journey will be a great one. All the best to you.

      • Lyn

        I’m glad I could encourage you. Think of the future as your next chapter. We all have them, and yes, there will be more ahead. I had a new one when my ex moved on. It wasn’t always easy, but I do clearly see the rainbow at the end of that rainstorm. Sometimes we sit and wonder what are we going to do next, but the answers do come along.

        Think about maybe having a summer list of fun things to do for yourself…little things like a movie out, lunch with a friend, a day trip to the lake or beach, maybe even a weekend away. Sometimes these little times of refreshing can give us perspective, as well as give us something to look forward to. As you know, if there is a will, there is a way.

        You will get there, friend. Take good care. 🙂