Friday, June 28, 2013

Seattle & Joy's Graduation - Day 3

Sunday was another unintentional early morning, but not quite as bad as the day before.  We got up and got ready for the day.  We would be having breakfast with a family in Joy’s church that had adopted her during her time up here.  We met them at a café near the church.  They are a wonderful couple with 2 or 3 daughters a little older than Joy.

We then drove over to Joy’s church.  She attends a small Foursquare church in Seattle.  I made it through the worship, but 15 minutes into the sermon, all the fatigue of the trip was crashing in on me, so I excused myself and went out to the car to rest.  I figured that would be better than falling asleep in the service.  It turns out Amy hadn’t been doing much better than me.

From there we went back to Amy’s uncle’s house to rest before the graduation.  Joy graciously agreed to go with Mom & Dad and have them get her to the ceremony the requisite hour early, thereby giving Heidi, Amy and me some downtime.  Amy and I each got a nap in.  It helped so much.  We were barely on time to the graduation, but we made it.  It’s times like these when I love Fresno, because parking is never an issue there, except in downtown, and even that pales in comparison to Seattle’s general traffic conditions.

The ceremony was being held at the Key Arena.  We found Mom and Dad who had saved seats.  As I took it all in, I just started crying.  I was so immensely proud of Joy for making it to this point and so overwhelmed at the realization of how much she had grown up.  I missed a lot of her life during my time living up in Fresno.  I reflected on the road trip she and I took where we first encountered SPU.  I remember hoping she didn’t pick this school because the two guys we met in admissions had no concept of how to tie a tie.  If you don’t know how to tie it, ask for help or don’t wear one.

We were able to find Joy and keep track of her during the ceremony.  Well, Dad wasn’t able to.  Amy graciously kept re-directing him to where joy was sitting.  The ceremony was LONG.  The commencement speaker was graciously brief.  He was one of the SPU board of trustee members, the President of World Vision, and past President/CEO of Parker Brothers.  Heidi and I tried to clap for the names that didn’t have a lot of cheerleaders in the stands, partly out of support, and partly to keep ourselves occupied.  Thankfully Joy was near the end.  I don’t like how people were getting to leave mid-ceremony, I think it’s rude, but I am sympathetic in that I would struggle if Joy had been graduated early in the ceremony and I had to face the prospect of listening to hundreds of names that I don’t know.

Afterward we rendezvoused with Joy and the extended family that had been able to come.  I coordinated all the requisite groupings of pictures so that we could be done quickly and leave.  Even with the nap, I was still pretty worn down.

Amy’s cousin Andrew had started dinner so that she wasn’t starting from scratch when we got back to the house.  Her Uncle Mark and Aunt Kathy returned from the graduation they had attended so they could join all of us for the dinner.  After eating, we all drove down to Green Lake to walk the 3 miles around it.  Everyone but Mom and Dad got ahead of Heidi and me.  We later found out that Mom and Dad gave up and went back to wait by the cars.  Heidi and I had some solo time to talk until we caught up with everyone else about halfway around the trail.

We drove back up the hill to the house and then wound down for bed.  Before crashing, I remembered that we would be better off filling the car up with gas tonight than trying to do it in the morning, so Heidi and I went on one more errand to get that done.

Then we all crashed.

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