May 10, 2016

To Maddie on the Occasion of Your College Graduation


Dear Maddie,

Sunday was such an important day. While the day really and truly belongs to you, we cannot help but feel as if it belongs a little to us as well. Sometimes I think back on that day so many years ago when you told us we could not do anything to make you care about school. My momma's heart broke open that day. I knew you were absolutely right and I've never felt more helpless. But even then there was no way we were going to give up. Even though we did everything we could to make you care, it was all up to you. After the first semester of your senior year, when your conditional college acceptance came and by the time it arrived you had already broken all of the conditions, we weren't sure you would graduate from high school. But then the switch flipped.

You turned it around. That is all on you sweet girl. You did it the hard way, as you often do, and your mother often did before you. You did your time at community college and I know you hated every moment of your time there but you did it for a year and half before you could transfer. I know there were times it seemed like it was taking forever, working two jobs and often taking classes during the summer too. Maddie, you have worked so hard for the last 5 years and because of that I believe you have a deeper appreciation for your education then you might have otherwise had. You now have a B.A. in Psychology from the Purdue School of Science. Just take a moment and reread that. What an amazing accomplishment!

While I do not believe a person's value is tied to their level of education, I do believe that part, a big part, of a person's value is tied to what they overcome in life, what they learn from it and the grace with which they handle it.

Maddie, may you go out into the world with the full knowledge that you are capable of greatness, not according to other people's standards or what they think is important, but by your own. Success in life is not measured by what you have but rather how happy you are. Always remember that. Know that you have all the tools- kindness, gumption and intelligence, to be all that you can be. We are so very proud of you.

20 comments:

  1. YAY, MADDIE!!!!!!! congrats to you all on this huge achievement!

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  2. Jen, it is so wonderful to read this post.... Maddie be very proud of yourself, you have done something for yourself that no one can ever take from you and that will always be with you!!! Education is a wonderful foundation to build a happy life on!
    Anna xx

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  3. Congratulations Maddie!!!! So excited for you all.

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  4. Wow, so moved by your text! Well done, Maddie. Well done, mum and dad! And now it's time to party <3

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  5. You all have lots to be proud about! : )

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  6. What a wonderful message to your girl - Congratulations to you all!
    xo~Jill

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  7. Congrats to your Maddie! What a wonderful letter to her and great accomplishment! Can see your pride shining through!

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  8. Congrats to Maddie. This could be my son's story. He's in the midst of finals right now and will be a senior in the Fall. He hated high school and I wasn't sure he would make it through but he did and he's done much better in college than I expected, and has taken summer courses every year. He started out with psychology but has switched to education and because they are changing the requirements, he will need to do an extra semester, which means a later graduation, but it's what he wants to do and he knows he needs to do all he can to work for it. Right now he is applying for summer work and looking for volunteer opportunities, too. I'm proud of how far he's come, just as you are with your girl. All the best, Tammy

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  9. Congratulations to Maddie!! What an amazing accomplishment - so proud of you!!

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  10. Jen, Please give your daughter my congratulations. Your letter to her is a beautiful tribute to her work and success. Congratulations to you all. Hugs!

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  11. Congratulations, Maddie! :-)

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  12. Oh what a beautiful letter from a mother to her daughter. Well done Maddie!What pride shines out of you Jen, and so it should. It's such a testament to what a wonderful mother you are. Thank you so much for your kind words too. I do miss the blogging community, but all is well with me. It's just busy at the moment! I always love visiting here. You have such a beautiful and calming quality, that just exudes you and shines through in your blog. Take care my lovely and carry on being so proud of your girlies! xxxxxx

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  13. What a beautiful letter to your daughter. It brought tears to my eyes since my own son will be graduating from high school in a few weeks and moving on to college soon. Both children have a wonderful future ahead. Bless Maddie for all she has done and for what she has to look forward to. Milena

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  14. Congratulations Maddie! Love your words you've shared her Jen…what a precious family you have!

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  15. This is absolutely beautiful, Jen. Thank you for sharing your words with us and congratulations to you all!! xo

    ~ Wendy

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  16. What a special celebration of the awesome person Maddie is, and also a beautiful statement of what family and parenting is all about. Congratulations to all of you. We love you guys!

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  17. Maddie and your family are deservedly proud of her accomplishments.

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  18. Congrats to the whole family! When my girls graduated college, it was the proudest moment in my life. So lovely for you to share your story. :) Kit

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  19. many congrats to maddie & those who have supported her throughout this beginning of her journey. so very proud for all of
    you!!

    'While I do not believe a person's value is tied to their level of education, I do believe that part, a big part, of a person's value is tied to what they overcome in life, what they learn from it and the grace with which they handle it." so many beautiful, meaningful & true statements in this post. but this one so very much resonates with me. thank you, jen for sharing your life and what you have learned from it!!

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.