Celebration is about more than one milestone
Staff Writer Sandy Illian Bosch
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:15AM
We could have celebrated my son’s graduation from high school without handmade garland in his new school colors and centerpieces covered in hundreds of lollipops. Guests could have congratulated him even if we didn’t have a moon jump castle in the front lawn and a table filled with homemade cupcakes and cookies.
But this celebration wasn’t just about a teenager finishing high school. It was about celebrating life.
Last year at this time, my weeks revolved around doctor appointments. Any social events had to be carefully scheduled between chemo treatments, when I was least likely to feel sick. Getting dressed included finding a scarf or hat to match my outfit, which preferably would cover the lump in my chest caused by my chemo port.
Last summer I didn’t have the energy to make table decorations, the strength to go shopping for party supplies, or the appetite to set foot in the kitchen. But that was then. This summer is a different story.
If there’s good to be found in that horrible summer that was, it might be that it happened when it did. While I missed plenty — about which I lamented in a column one year ago — I am grateful that I was healthy enough this year to attend my son’s final high school band concert, his awards nights and his graduation.
I was there to offer a final pep talk before his scholarship interview and there to share his excitement when he opened the letter that proved it had been a success.
I will be there for that bittersweet trip to college, and to cry more than a few tears when his dad and I head home to what undoubtedly will be a very quiet house.
And thanks to the treatment I endured in the last year, I can be relatively sure that I will be around to enjoy my new life as an empty nester, and all the milestones that come with it.
The fact is, Keegan isn’t the only person in our family celebrating a graduation. I had my last treatment just three weeks ago. So as my son transitions from high school student to college coed, I graduate from cancer patient to survivor.
The cards and presents were addressed to my son on Saturday, but I’m the one who received the real gift. And it’s one I plan to hang on to for a very long time.
Sandy Illian Bosch is a staff writer for The Doings