I've had some really rough and dark days in the five years I've been at BYU. I've had some really incredible days too. Looking back, it seems that every moment has been a little bit of both. Of all the let downs and breakdowns, I'll be honest in saying that there have been some times over the past two days of graduation that could actually rank pretty high in the list of most harrowing and emotionally trying moments at BYU.
That being said, here are some of the brightest spots and tender mercies:
- Discovering that the Graham Canyon ice cream at the creamery now has amazingly tasty streaks of graham crackers in it.
- Aneka and I talking about how degrees are still not going to cut it for what we want in life.
- The little red haired girl at the creamery who thinks her dad is weird for not liking dipping sauces and who confirmed to Aneka and me and that yes, we'd rather be moms. She gave me the most excited and sincere congratulations I heard all day—except for Brit's surprised, "You graduated!" and the excited but deep and reverent congratulations of my family.
- The little girl's mother who doesn't think her husband is weird and has a cool purse hook and who keeps track of the little girl who probably has more energy and love than anyone ever. I'd like to be like her.
- The graduate whose cap said, "Daughter #12" on the top. I have no idea what her parents have done and sacrificed to bring twelve daughters (and who knows how many sons) through college. I want to know though so I can do the same.
- The flowers my mom gave me, which were in my favorite color scheme ever—dusty blues, pale yellows, and toned down primrose—with the perfectly hued spider mum and the biggest rose I've ever held.
- My brother saying "I love you" before I said it to him.
- Finally making it to Bombay House and having my family actually like it.
- Seeing my mom's smile after the ceremony.
- My dad being really excited to receive my stole/sash thingy for his garage.
- My family attentively listening to and genuinely laughing at the story I shared.
- Drinking my first Calypso lemonade with my brother in the 7-11 lot.
- Having my grandpa with us at our two family outings.
- The moment when commencement didn't last for two hours.
- Three lovely convocation talks.
- Seeing Sarah Smith, Sara D., Alysa, Megan J., Talia, Christine G., Lori, John Bennion, Kent, Tom, and the man who looks like Ron Weasley in completely unexpected places. These were the kinds of divine meetings only the highest of powers could have orchestrated for me.
- Shaking hands with the man who looks just like Ron Weasley. He wasn't super thrilled to be meeting me, but he should have been.
- Jenny and I both getting a balloon in the hole above the pendulum in the ESC. This long standing tradition for physics graduates is a tough challenge. We both rocked it—together.