By Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 5/21/2015

It’s that time of year again. No, not allergy season. It’s a time of celebration. A time of congratulations to those who have graduated from a field of study and now move on to the next chapter in their lives.

The DuCharmes celebrated last week as Caitlyn walked across the stage at Mercer to receive her degree in Early Childhood Education. As all good dads will do, I shed a few tears of sorrow for my baby, who grew up too fast, and a few tears of joy for her
accomplishments and for the fact that she hopefully will be employed soon.

As I sat there, with 3000 of my closest friends, I was reminded of my own college graduation 30 years ago at Carson-Newman College, now University. I don’t remember the speaker’s name but I do remember one line in his commencement address that I’m sure the person who spoke at your graduation ceremony said as well, “Graduation is not the end of study, it is simply a transition to further study.” Knowing that I would be going to seminary a few months later, I took that thought with a grain of salt. Today, I’m just beginning to really understand what the speaker meant.

This past Sunday, we celebrated the upcoming graduations of our high school seniors, Miller McCord, Thomas Nash, and Will Newton, along with our college graduates. Just like me, all of their parents and family members were beaming with pride at their children’s accomplishments and future endeavors. I have enjoyed watching them “graduate” from their preschool and children days at the church and now from high school and college.

In fact, if you think about it, we are all graduating from something every day. Maybe you’re graduating from school, from work, from child rearing, from being single, from living with your parents, from living on your own. Whatever you’re graduating from, don’t stop studying and furthering your education. Life really is too short. Keep
studying, keep growing, and keep graduating.

Next week, our own Anna Powell’s youngest daughter, Edy, graduates from kindergarten. I hope you’re saving up for college, Anna. She’ll be graduating before you know it.