A week ago I was part of a gathering of parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncle, and cousins. All had traveled to Seattle to honor and celebrate a beautiful, smart, talented and loving young woman.
She is my granddaughter.
Including the graduate, we numbered thirteen. We were a joy-filled presence as we crisscrossed the Seattle area.
We gathered for the Baccalaureate Mass.
Following the baccalaureate, we celebrated Nathan’s birthday.
The next morning we gathered for the graduation. It was held at the Seattle Mariners Baseball Stadium.
New to me was the tradition of purchasing leis for the graduates. Lei craftspeople had small stands outside the stadium from which they offered leis for sale. I was quick to purchase one!
Our group was determined to make certain Valerie heard our cheers when her name was called. We practiced when her friends’ names were called. When Valerie received her diploma, I am certain she could hear her family cheering. We were loud and proud!
After the graduation ceremony we piled into several cars for a short drive to Serious Pizza. Nathan had turned sixteen the day before, so he was enlisted as a driver.
The dozen pizzas – and more – were seriously delicious!
The following day a variety of activities were offered. Sailing. Backyard games. Delightful conversations. AND a grill fest.
Our last full day was filled, of course. I rode along to the marina for a quick adjustment to the sailboat, followed by a quick stop for bagels extraordinaire.
In the afternoon all thirteen of us attended a Seattle Storm game. The Storm are one of the best teams in the WNBA. Few in our group had enjoyed a WNBA game.
It was so much fun!
After the game ended, we were off to a party celebrating Valerie and her two best friends.
And just like that, by noon the next day all travelers were on their way home. It was an extraordinary gathering to celebrate an extraordinary young woman. She is well on her way. Next stop, Rice University.