I was cold.
I was wet. Very wet.
At one point I could no longer feel my fingers or toes.
Even with protective gear, my right arm was drenched. The sideways rain found ways to penetrate seemingly all inclement weather attire.
We had made the woefully strategic decision to dress for the event instead of the weather. Flying in for the weekend, our luggage capacity adherent to airline limitations only allowed for so much flexibility. I suppose, therefore, we took a calculated risk. We thoroughly failed.
Used to low temps now equating to under 70-something, 39° was bit of a blunt reminder shock to my system. I forgot that socks were good.
Proceed then with two hours sitting on a metal football bench in the rain… two hours fairly near the stage, albeit on the top level of the massive outdoor stadium. We were socially-distanced, of course. Granted, the paths between us seemed only to create a fiercer gauntlet for the plethora of intermittent wind gusts. (Did I say “plethora”?)
Let me add to the visual none other than a clunky, inconvenient hobble — a hobble or wobble brought on by a recent foot injury that currently necessitates both an oh-so-attractive boot and a demonstrably slower pace.
By all accounts, it was miserable. Absolutlely miserable.
Except that it wasn’t.
This weekend, we had the most wonderful day!
None of the above is untrue.
None of the above is exaggerated.
Ask any who attended the 2021 commencement ceremonies in Ohio State’s “Horseshoe” last Sunday.
(And if you can find the one other woman I saw also donned in a semi-formal dress and low heels, be sure to ask her, too.)
But I repeat: we had the most wonderful day!
The bottom line was that our son was graduating… four years in college… multiple honors… professional steps eagerly awaiting… what an accomplishment! What a moment for our family … what a moment not to miss!
We miss the moment, friends, when we focus on what’s lesser.
We miss the moment when we focus on the “rain.”
We miss the bottom line when we focus on all that tempts to derail and distract us… what’s unfortunate, what’s inconvenient, what I wish wouldn’t have worked out that way…
We miss what’s bigger when we focus on what seems unfair, what other people have that I want, where I feel like the victim…
There were so many things Sunday I wished wouldn’t have been that way. I admit, it was temptingly irritating to be unable to steadily hold one of our multiple umbrellas with nothing short of a shivering, soaked right arm. When the water started running down the back of our legs, there may have been an added squeal or two.
But here we were, seeing past our circumstances, not allowing any to zap our joy. We were so gleeful!
We laughed. We cried. We laughed so hard we cried!
True, this proud parent cried, too, at the onset of the accompanying “Pomp and Circumstances.” I admit to also crying as a bit of a softie at the site of the gown, the cords, and the academic distinction added to his prestigious diploma.
But I think the lesson learned, for me and more, is that no matter the depth of irritation or inconvenience, circumstances need not zap our joy nor dampen the celebration. When they do, we miss the moment; we miss what’s bigger; we miss the sweeter blessing and opportunity for growth.
That goes for way more than graduation.
Oh, what a wonderful day…