Sunday, May 15, 2011

Graduation Day

This was an idea of her own making. She looked forward to the 20 minute car ride one night a week. At her destination, she climbed the stairs to the second floor classroom. She surveyed a landscape of teachers, nurses, graduate students. She was 12 years old. But she wanted to learn how to sign, and so, in this room full of people almost twice her size, and more than twice her age, she sat and listened. And participated. And learned. And fit right in.

She never lost that passion. So many of us cling to an idea of who we are, or what we are meant to be, for but a brief moment and then move on. Not her.

Her resume is filled to overflowing. From that first experience almost 15 years ago, to this Tuesday, when she receives her graduate school diploma and becomes a speech and language pathologist, she sought out opportunities to help. She has worked with the less fortunate, the less-abled, in as many settings as time and circumstance would permit. Each experience has brought wonderful reports from those who monitor her. She has been imbued with a generosity of spirit.

There is something significant about people who are not frightened or disquieted by difference, but are drawn to it.

Those who look upon my daughter on that stage will see only the culmination of all those years of effort and dedication. I will see that little girl walking out of the car, opening the door into her own universe.

I have told her that congratulations is not a word that remotely does justice. As a parent, and as an observer of everything that she is and she will surely be, I am filled with a most profound sense of joy and the deepest feeling of gratitude.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Alex. I still have the picture in my mind of you holding her in one arm and another little girl in the other.

Robert said...

thank you tt.

We do tend to freeze frame our lives, and that is one of those moments that both you and I will hold onto forever

Nancy Leeds said...

The Leeds family wishes there were more Alex Nussbaums' in the world. But Alex didn't spring from nowhere, she developed in the fertile environment of tolerance and appreciation for different abilities in the Nussbaum home. Congratulations Alex!

Robert said...

As my family often reminds me, not everything is about me. And despite your most kind words, this is not about me, or even Jo. What we see on the stage tomorrow is the product of Alex's own doing, and the path in life that she has chosen for herself.

We are very lucky indeed to have people like Alex among us.