Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Age of Rocks

On the wall of my office is my University of Colorado diploma. On the top shelf of my bookcase is a photo of Mom and me, standing on a patch of grass outside of the Events Center with the Fiske Planetarium and the Rocky Mountains in the background. The diploma was earned and the photograph was taken on the same day. 21 years ago today.

I keep the photo of Mom and me in a spot where I can always see it. 21 years ago today I graduated from college. The youngest of her six kids. We stood side-by-side, Mom holding my cap on which I had taped the letters "A D S E Y" so that - in a sea of 5000 look-alike, black gown-wearing graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences - she could see her "baby" while he basked in his moment in the sun. We had stood side-by-side slightly less than eight years before Graduation Day when my father was buried. In the eight years between the day he died and the day I graduated college, I had been standing by her side while Mom went through a lot: First Kara and then Jill had graduated college. Thereafter Jill and then Kara had gotten married. Before any of that occurred Mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Come to think of it, Mom had been through one hell of a lot. She came through it all. So did I.

21 years ago today. A moment in time captured forever, either by Kara or Jill or Joe. In the 21 years since that picture was taken one of us looks as young now as we did then, buoyed by the ocean, the sand and the salt air. . The other one? He practices law for a living. And in another few days I will be part of the audience and perhaps the after-ceremony photo op when Suz graduates from the Master's Program at Seton Hall. I have already cleared off the space on my shelf for the picture.

The circle of life? Hell if I know.

Twenty years now
Where'd they go?
twenty years
I don't know
sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone.

-AK

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