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Graduation Story


 As I looked at my oldest son, it seemed he was still a boy to me, even though he was about to graduate from college.  I stood in the large auditorium and gazed at all the colorful decorations.  With 20 minutes until the start of the program, I started to reflect on the road that had led us here.  It was a long walk but worth every step.

     My husband had left me with two boys to raise on my own.  I had been mostly a homemaker with an odd job here and there.  The boys were 6 and 4 and now I was solely responsible for their future.  I was determined to do the best I could for them.  I had several different jobs but mostly I worked at night.

     In the daytime, I would take them to school and then attend college classes myself.  After school, we would do homework together, eat dinner, and go to the sitters.  I worked while they slept so I wouldnt miss spending time with them.

      My oldest, Adam was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and I was also diagnosed.  Learning was difficult for both of us.  I worked with the school and the doctors but still he struggled everyday.  I decided to take more action.

     I bought a write-erase board and put it on the wall next to the dining table.  I would write information he needed to learn and for my on college classes.  Sometimes, I would test him to see if he could remember.  Just having the board there where he could see it everyday helped him to remember what he needed.  I downloaded worksheets from the internet, always offering little prizes, not for correct answers but simply for effort.  In the car going to school or to the store, I would ask him questions about science, math, etc.  It became a little game for us. 

     The day before graduation, I went to Adams dorm to help him pack.  I looked around at clothes hanging on chairs, a box peeking out from under the bed, and stacks of papers on every table.  I looked over at a small table that he used to eat and do homework on.  Next to it was a write-erase board, I had given him for Christmas the first year he was in college.  It was still crammed with material he needed to remember for finals.

      I was jolted out of my trip down memory lane by my son.

      Its time, mom.  He said

      We took our seats and waited for our names to be called, his and then mine to receive our diplomas.  We worked hard for years to get to this place.  Sometimes, we made each other laugh and sometimes, we cried from pure frustration.  Sometimes, we just gave up for the day and played soccer in the backyard.  But we made it and we made it together.  I could think of no better person to share this honor with than my son.

 Copyright 2001 Carlene Reed



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