Almost four years ago, I wrote a blog post honoring my grandfather, who had just passed away, and my eldest daughter, who was graduating from high school. I took the title of my post, “A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance,” from the Book of Ecclesiastes.
And time flew.
Yesterday that same daughter graduated from college amid a global health emergency, and again I turn to Ecclesiastes for inspiration—”there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing” (Ecc 3:5).
If you know my daughter, you know she’s happiest when she’s surrounded by her friends and all the people who love her. She looked forward to her graduation as a celebration with all her favorite people, and now that the fun and excitement of that rite of passage has been taken from her, she’s been feeling sad and blue. I know she’s not the only one, that there are literally millions of young men and women around the globe who have missed and will miss big events in their own lives due to this pandemic, but she’s the one who matters most to us right now.
Of course, our family of five will share hugs with Carolyn today, but for everyone else who was supposed to be with us for the celebration, this is a time to refrain from embracing. In fact, this is a time when we’re all supposed to be six feet from each other if we’re not wearing masks. It’s a scary time, and one that has left people feeling lonely and frustrated.
But Carolyn will be able to embrace her larger family and her friends again, just as people all around the world will, too. It may be a while before it happens, but it will happen.
Because there is a time to embrace, and that time will come again.
To everyone graduating this year, wherever you are, you have a bright future ahead of you. This pandemic has made us all stronger and more aware of the things that matter. Remember what you’ve learned.
Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2020!
Until next time,
P.S. The family photo was taken from an appropriate social distance!