Our oldest son graduated Summa Cum Laude from GA Military College Friday night. (He, along with many other students, was a non-cadet.)

The path to graduation wasn’t straight: a false start; a year off; a year working. He went back to school and got serious, but there were still obstacles—financial aid hitches; classes not offered when needed; the day-to-day responsibilities of becoming an adult.

The most honored graduate was a wife and the mother of four sons. I can almost guarantee that there were days—maybe weeks, months, or years—when she didn’t believe she could do it, didn’t believe she would ever walk up on that stage and have a diploma placed in her hand, certainly couldn’t imagine being singled out and honored above others. Did her family believe it? I don’t know.

Some choices that sideline or delay us are hard to overcome: they can jail, maim, or harm us emotionally. Others just require that we shake it off and keep moving.

There are days when it’s hard just to do the work and do it well. Dreams come hard, take work, get delayed. Discouragement sets in, especially if the same goal seems to come faster or easier for others.

Here’s the thing: your life isn’t a competition and dreams don’t come with expiration dates.

Who says it’s too late for you to go back to school, write a book, learn to play an instrument? Time passes. Let’s have something to show for it. Use it wisely.

What began for our son with stalls and pit stops ended with those three meaningful words—Summa Cum Laude—with highest honors. Those are words to live by, aren’t they?


G is for Graduate


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