Good luck to grads

Published 4:29 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Here I sit once again in my favorite little coffee shop in Tennessee. My son, Ryan, has his Apple laptop out working, and I have mine. It is so nice to hang out with the younger generation and be able to glean some of their tech savvy. Having grown up with computers they seem to have an almost intuitive knowledge that I lack, but I keep plugging along learning as I go.

Ryan is still on California time so I waited somewhat impatiently, I’m afraid, for him to open those pretty baby blues this morning. Finally, I understood that my breakfast partner would be sleeping in so I started my day while he caught up on his sleep.

I’m so excited that he made the trip with me to celebrate his nephew’s high school graduation. This time tomorrow Aidan will walk across the stage into a new phase of his life, and we will be there to cheer him on. Families all over the country will be experiencing this bittersweet moment with their young adults.

Many will question.

“Have I been the best parent or grandparent I could be?”

“Have I done everything to prepare my loved one for the future?”

Unfortunately, none could answer these questions in the affirmative because we all could have done a bit better. What then is the answer to feelings of inadequacy and doubt? We can’t go back and do the things we have failed to do.

I suppose all who truly desire to be a good parent or grandparent would give in to at least a moment of despair for our failings if we thought the totality of preparing these precious ones was up to us. Thank God that his mercies are new every morning.

No, I haven’t been the perfect mom or the perfect nana for that matter, but I can send my grandson out into the world with two of the most wonderful gifts. Aidan, like the rest of my precious ones, knows he is loved totally and unconditionally. He also knows that wherever life takes him his Nana will be lifting his name up to the Father for guidance and protection.

Sure, he will receive a graduation gift, and I’m sure he will appreciate it. But things are soon lost or used up … not so with our unconditional love and prayers. I am challenged to beef up my prayer life with each season my children and grandchildren enter, but it is with complete confidence that I watch them spread their wings. They are all so gifted and talented, and I pray for them to use their gifts for good in this world. What more can we ask than for our precious ones to love God and love others?

As my grandson, Aidan, walks across the stage there will be tears for all the moments we have shared, the moments we missed, the mistakes we made, and the times we got it right. Blessings to all the graduates.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at