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!
12 thoughts on “A Time to Embrace…”
They grow up so quickly. She resembles you. The graduations will still be good memories and the type of topic that will interest their grandkids because of these circumstances.
Everything has gone so fast. People say she looks like me, but they also think she REALLY looks like my husband. She will definitely have stories to tell, that’s for sure. She’s been sad, but this will pass and people will be able to get together again sometime. It may be a while and it may look different when it happens, but I have no doubt it will happen. I hope you and your family are staying healthy!
Aw, congrats to your daughter and your family Amy. Beautiful words for these dystopian times Amy. I know so many are sad from weddings to funerals the world is on hold. I do believe once new life begins for all of us there will be an abundance of celebrations of life for all occasions to make up for the missed celebrations. Just a delay. 🙂 ❤
My brother-in-law had to postpone his June wedding for a year, too, so Carolyn isn’t the only one who’s missing a big celebration. But love is still the same, and the love that’s behind every celebration is still there. We’ll all celebrate the big stuff together sometime. There will be so much to celebrate when this is all over! ❤
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Thank you, Maggie! xo
Congratulations to your amazing daughter. I’m sure when all this is over, and it will be, there will be some big parties and celebrations. My grandson was to graduate from Grade 12 this year. I had planned to fly back to Canada to be there for the ceremony as I did for his brother 5 years ago. But alas, all that has changed. He is completing his last year of secondary school from home and is unsure of his future.
Thank you! It’s hard to miss those rites of passage with family, but hopefully soon we can all be together again. And not having a formal graduation doesn’t take away any of his accomplishments and the pride he should have in himself. Congratulations to him!!
Congratulations to your beautiful daughter and to you. Proud day. More proud and adventure days ahead. Go get ’em!
Thank you so much, Antoinette! She is excited to be moving forward, but she’ll miss all the friends she made at school.
What a lovely tribute to your daughter, Amy. Congratulations!
My grandson is a 2020 high school graduate. It saddens me to know he will miss things like prom, last walks down the hallway with friends he may not see again for years, award nights, and commencement exercises. Yet his achievements remain, even though not celebrated as we might have hoped.
May all young people who graduate in 2020 find this unique experience has served only to strengthen their resolve and resiliency as they move forward.
Thanks, Pat. And congratulations to your grandson! I wish him the best as he moves forward!