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Graduation Days

May and June are often considered the months of graduation. Back in my day, 8th grade was the first graduation for any student. So, as I prepared for it, much fuss was made over finding the perfect ensemble (robes were only worn when you graduated from high school or higher forms of education). I chose a beautiful white taffeta dress with peplum ruffles and one of my first opportunities to wear nylons with a pair of open toe wedges.

On the appointed day, there was the hustle and bustle to make sure we arrived early to take out place in the line-up and be seated for the ceremony. The ceremony was when diplomas were handed out. Aunts, uncles, siblings, parents and neighbors would all be there to witness this occasion.

I was pretty sure I had passed all the requirements; handed in my work and passed my tests. Others had waited until almost graduation and crammed for final. Excitement mounted as names were now being called. Sad to say going down the line alphabetically some weren’t having their names called to receive their diplomas. That meant they would have to stay behind. (Does this sound a little like the parable of the Ten Virgins?). BUT…oh the joy when I heard my name. “Edythe Nelson.” Please come forward to receive your diploma. And then the applause!

I’m nearing the end of my studies here on earth and am looking forward to graduation. In fact, at times. I feel quite an excitement. I want to have the proper garment ready. I often ask my Rabbi if I have fulfilled what I’ve been assigned to do. But when I hear, “well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Lord”, I can already imagine the applause of Heaven coming from the great cloud of witnesses. Graduation day? Will it be mid semester? Full semester? No one know the day nor the hour. Selah (pause for thought).

Edythe Stewart


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