Here is the most beautiful girl I have seen in 18 years - only she is no longer a girl she is a strong , talented young woman. Full of love and passion for those around her. From her first breath it has been a struggle to reach this day. I was told so many times by so many professionals that she would never be the woman she is. I won't minimize the long list of struggles and the even longer list that she will continue to face. However, today my little girl just beat the odds.
Here is another reason that we battle the tough times and share the good. Love. Its not always kind or easy. But real love will endure years of challenges and multiple celbrations. I had Melina doing formal photos yesterday but I came in and shot pictures behind her. This was a truly awesome photo of my parents and you can't help but feel the love that was there. THis coming September they will have been married for 47 years. What an amazing achievement. I am so very proud of them for reaching this milestone and being there to support my siblings and myself. I know they will continue to be there for us in days to come.
This is fine young gentleman is my nephew from my first marriage. I have only recently had the chance to get to know this young man after 15 years of being apart. This is a gift that Diane has given me without even knowing it. She has continued to be involved with Robbie and his life and now that they no longer require adults to control all that they do they are great friends. Robbie came to Diane's grad all on his own. I think that speaks volumes to his fortitude and desire to know his extended family on his own terms. He was a joy and delight to spend the day with. He was a good sport about contortioning into positions for photos, a perfect gentleman with respect to chivalry, grabbed my camera and took photos when I couldn't. He even had the magic tide pen when Diane spilled and stained her dress unexpectedly. He regaled us with his travel adventures and touched my heart with his stories of his late mom. I am glad that I am being given the oppurtunity to know this young man.
Yes, I am feeling a bit sappy this day after graduation - and I realize how many good things I have to be thankful for in a sea of rough waves. So bring on the difficult times, hard tasks and days of heartache, for without those moments I am sure I wouldn't appreciate the rays of sunshine, rainbows of wonder, and the love that I have been blessed with.