My oldest son Brody will graduate from high school tomorrow and the both of us are pretty relaxed about it. In fact, I still have to find a restaurant that will hold all of us, but it’s still early in the day.

First day of school. 2004
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It wasn’t ideal that I had to teach him how to shave, how to tie a tie, how to drive and have those awkward conversations. But ideals are based only on how someone thinks things should be. In fact, I’m pretty sure he and I were laughing while watching some really bad instructional videos while making jokes, both of us wearing ties and T shirts. He was too young to know whether or not that was “a father’s job” so it was really just another thing “Mom was making him do.”

We have similar taste in music.

Being the oldest, he always had more responsibilities than his siblings, and because of our situation, he also was “prepped and trained” in case something should happen to me.

At his younger brother’s soccer tournament.

From the age of 11, when he lost his dad and my dad died the following month, Brody learned about everything as I learned about it too: yard work, budgeting, finances, small home repairs and weighing out when time is worth more than money. I learned a lot from him too, like how to let go and chill because sometimes shopping for food at 7-11 is not a waste but really, really convenient!

No matter what other cards may be dealt in life, I have no doubt he will persevere.

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I am not even going to get into a long list of accomplishments to show how proud I am of him because I tell him all the time and he’s really the one that needs to know. But I do want to tell you that he is always kind, thoughtful and generous even when others are not. He focuses on the things that matter and are meaningful. I also want to tell you that great and happy people can rise up from adversity and that big ideals are not as important as being your best self in the moment that’s in front of you. I just want you to know all of this because these are the things that my son taught me.


Congratulations Brody! (Okay, I’ll sneak in telling you that he graduated with high honors for all 8 semesters and received a scholarship!!!!!

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