Sunday, June 05, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day

Yesterday, June 4, 2011, my daughter, Sarah Alice, graduated from medical school.  It was a perfect Seattle summer day--no clouds and the temperature was in the high 70's.  On days like this, you forget the previous 6 months of dark and rain and simply live in the moment.

Graduation was at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at 10am and, of course, Sarah had to be there at 8:30, so Matt drove her down and I struggled  dress and remember everything.  Camera?  check.  Cell phone?  check.  Ipod?  Check. Flowers?  Oops.  So after Dan, Sarah's boyfriend, showed up and Matt was ready, we stopped and got purple and yellow roses to give our new doctor after the ceremony.

Raced into Hec Ed, picked up a program, found some seats and opened said program.  Discovered that Sarah was not only honored as the ACP Outstanding Internal Medicine Student from Washington state and for her membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, but that she had been conferred  the Georgiana Kirby award.  Given by the friends of the University of Washington, the Georgiana Kirby award "is awarded to the graduating medical student who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to his or her studies and clinical work, and has shown the compassion for patients that is embodied in the ideal physician."  Each of the 267 graduates was called by name and came up to receive their hood and diploma, as their achievements and residencies were announced.  I should have had a noisemaker app attached to my IPOD because I could not yet make any sort of sound, other than vigorous clapping when Sarah's name awards and residency was announced and both Dan and Matt were too shy.  I thought of all the days I had spent at the sidelines of her soccer games and swim meets, yelling at the top of my lungs, and I guess Sarah was probably grateful for the the temporary loss of voice.  Ah, but it used to be so much fun...

Lots of pictures with family and friends outside afterwards.  Lots of hugs and some tears.  The sun actually started baking us, and Sarah was roasting under her robe, green hood and squashy cap.  So she decided that she did not want to go to a restaurant for celebratory brunch,  but instead wanted to go to the pool.   We went to Metropolitan Markets and picked up picnic lunch fixings, went home and got ready for the pool.  Had lunch at home so we could polish off a bottle of champagne and then spent several relaxing hours in the sun with the familiar splashing and other water noises, basking in the sun and talking with friends.  Every so often, I'd get a question, "You know what, Mom?"  "No, what, Sarah?"  "I'm a doctor now!"  So everything that she did the rest of the afternoon became anchored to that new fact, including her pickleball and basketball victories.  Life does not get much better than this.

About 5:30 we closed up shop because she and Dan had to go out to dinner with her father and his wife.  Matt and I had tickets to the U-2 concert at Qwest Field.  I'd purchased them a year and a half ago, but the concert was postponed last June because Bono had unexpected  back surgery. 

The trip downtown was uneventful and we found parking in the International District which meant a brisk walk to Qwest field in the sunshine.  Our seats were up in the third level, southeast side, but in the front row.  At one point we had an usher come iover and tell us we were in the wrong seats and made us move, but when we got up a level he admitted his mistake and gave them back to us.  After that things settled in very nicely.  Our seatmates welcomed us back warmly and our  neigbors to the south collected everyone's favorite songs so we would know who to cheer and point to when they came on.   Matt's was "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and mine was "Better than the Real Thing," which is not part of their canon.  Both were played and mine was the first song of the concert!  Began well and just got better as the evening wore on.  This turned out to be the emotional high point of the evening:

Absolutely one of the peak days of my life.  


Dan Matyola said...

I'm glad to hear that you had such a wonderful day. You certainly deserve it!


Queen Mother Dorothy said...

Oh that sounds like a deliciously wonderful day! I'm so happy for you and your daughter, and what fun to go to a concert with your son! I did that a few years ago when my son was a senior in high school in Cincinnati. Good memories all the way 'round.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing day! Everybody gets a few of those in life. :)

The pictures of you and Sarah are beautiful.

My favorite U2 song is I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and my second favorite is With or Without You, but there was a great song on No Line on the Horizon about snow or whiteness or purity, I can't remember the title, but I loved it.

All the best to you and your family,