A few days ago I traveled to the Big Island to witness my granddaughter graduate from high school. It’s such an honor to share this rite of passage from schoolgirl to poised, confident young woman. While Sam couldn’t be with us, his absence gave me pause to reflect on this life tradition.
The Waveriders are the school mascot. A fitting moniker given the location and when you think about it, a very apropos analogy for life beyond high school. We all have ups and downs, the trick is to keep riding the wave of life, always hoping to catch the next big one.
in Hawaii, graduation is more than just a celebration of a young person’s transition from school to “the real world.” It had an almost carnival feel to it. Mere words seem inadequate to describe the feeling. People are laid back and casual, some come in T-shirts and shorts, most wear Flip flops. It’s really about celebrating the human family because indeed it takes a village…parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school officials, community. They all play a vital part in transitioning our beautiful children into thoughtful adults who honor them by contributing back-doing the same thing for future grads. This is especially true in Hawaii. Ohana here means no one gets left behind.
This process is much like hospice therapy. When I return to the mainland, I’ll have an even better sense of that. Witnessing the profound stories of patients, their friends and family celebrating the life of remarkable people. Their final journey to the next life with friends and family near their side, wishing them a joyful journey into the next realm, whatever it might be. While we may be saddened by their leaving us, it kind of reminded me of those high school graduates. They’ll be leaving their families soon, off to college or to begin starting of their own families. Just like hospice patients, they will still need us by their side to reach the next chapter riding the next wave of greatness through our actions or our legacies. Go forth Hailey! Catch a big one. I’ll be here watching you soar till it’s my turn to have you watch me catch my last one on earth. <3