I just got back from my goddaughter's Comfirmation ceremony today and I couldn't be more proud of her. I've been grinning like a cheshire cat all day thinking about those many years ago that I held her fragile little self in the church as she got baptized. Being a godparent has been one of the highest honors I've ever been bestowed. To see her recognized in her church as a full member is gratifying. Her mother says that technically my duty to her (raising her Catholic in the event something should have happened to her parents) is now done that she's achieved her Confirmation. Fat chance; I'd like to think that my godfatherly duties will never end and she'd be an integral part of my life for as long as I shall live.
I've also been espousing to one of my classes about their impending graduation and how vital it is that they attend. They've earned every bit of pomp, cimcumstance and honor that a graduation ceremony provides. They need to sit through all of those various speakers, see all of the guests get their honorary degrees and ultimately hike across that stage to receive that diploma from our school. My students owe it to their friends, family and loved ones for all the years of support that they've received. Those scant seconds across that stage is one of the most gratifying things a proud parent can see their child do.
Did I need to attend my goddaughter's Confirmation? Did I need to attend my collegiate graduation 20 years ago? Do I really need to attend any event, function or ceremony? Technically no but how unfulfilling would that be? I wouldn't have felt this wave of pride if I didn't see my goddaughter confirmed. My parents would have been saddened to see my diploma arrive in the mail. And even the sad ceremonies- such as funerals... they give credence to our existence here on Earth. Ceremonies are a way to put a timestamp on our lifespan; it's a landmark to which we can all latch onto.
A very wise friend of mine once said that life is but a bunch of good memories. I agree. Why not stop and pay homage to our lives? Even in great sadness people can be proud of where they've come from. And more importantly in moments of great happiness like my goddaughter's ceremony and graduation, we really need to cherish our accomplishments and our very existence.
I've already got some great memories to cherish and plan on making plenty more good memories.