My friend, Gracie, is borrowing my blog space today so that she can send her son a special message. It's from her heart.
Love to Jesse, Gracie and Micki today and everyday!
For all your years of life, I have been preparing you for this day. Tonight, we will all watch with hearts full as you accept your high school diploma.
I'm not sure, son, you realize how proud of you I am. I don't know that I can find the words to even tell you.
I suppose one day you will understand as you get to experience graduation from the stands as the parent, instead of the football field as a student. When that day comes, still, I will be there with you. Whether it be in body, or in spirit, on that day, I want you to remember I am just as close then as I am right now.
Jesse, through all my struggles as a single mother, you and your sister have been the reason I refused to give up. When I was so tired I thought I couldn't carry on, I'd catch a glimpse of your grin and your sisters and I would remember what I was working for. When I was overcome, I'd walk into your rooms and see your sweet, sleeping faces and would find the resolve to get up the next day and start all over again.
Many times during your school days, I know you, too, felt like giving up. Teachers would discourage you; principals would discourage you. At times, I know I felt the world was placing too much responsibility on you. I can only imagine how it made you feel.
Somewhere between the madness and the sadness, my boy, you found a way to persevere.
When the world told you you couldn't, you told them to watch you do it.
When the world told you it would never happen, you made it happen.
When the world told you not to try, you became more determined.
That fighting spirit that lives in you is as strong as your loving spirit, Jesse.
Today, you prove them all wrong. Again.
You are such a good man, son. You have grown into more of a man than I hoped you would be all those years ago when you and I sat together as I rocked you to sleep.
Thank you for being my special gift to the world.
Today, as I release you to take your first steps as a man, I have no doubt you will make your mark. You will leave this world in better shape than you found it. It will be a better world because you are here.
I love you, son.