There are times for all parents when their children so something that makes them say, “That’s my child! I did that!” I had one of those last night. I didn’t get to take any pictures though. My daughter, Clare, was inducted into the National Honor Society. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has always been so focused and bright. Out of my 4 kids, she has always been the one that I never had to ask, or plead with in some cases, to do her homework. She just does what she has to do. There was a time, in Kindergarten, when her grandparents had come back from Florida after spending half the year there, and Clare informed us that she had to do her homework first before she could even say hello. That’s just her, the worker.
She is very blessed to go to a college prep, parochial high school where she has received an excellent education with other kids just as bright as she is. Unlike her though, some of the others don’t have to put forth the effort like she does. That is where Clare is different. I have tried so many times to explain that she has something so special within her because she isn’t afraid of the hard work and effort it takes to succeed. Unfortunately, she just doesn’t get it. She continues to say she’s “sub-par”. Last night proves that she is far from being “sub-par”. She is superior. She has gotten into all the universities that she applied to and now it’s up to her to decide where to go and which one is the best fit for her. She will begin studying pre-med in the fall.
Her focus and diligence is incredible. She puts her mind to something and makes it happen. She decided that food is love and that she enjoyed cooking. Last week for her French project, she made raspberry and chocolate macaroons as well as Coq au vin. Sure wish I was in her French class. Both recipes were delicious. That’s a benefit of being her mom. She makes perfect crepes without a special crepe pan, the best chicken Parmesan sandwiches and so many delicious dishes that I couldn’t even to name them here. She cooks from her heart and you can feel the love she has in every dish. How I’ll miss that next year.
The NHS ceremony was more than just a ceremony for the inductees. It was held in the beautiful motherhouse chapel adjacent to the school. I looked around to see all the parents and some grandparents there. I hadn’t asked my dad or my brother to come. I knew that they would be busy with dad’s eye meds at that time. I also knew that Clare would be leaving directly after the ceremony for musical practice. As I looked around during the Mass, however, I kept thinking about my mom. I know how proud of Clare she would be. I felt that she was there watching over her and as if she was sitting next to me. Tears, unbidden, began streaming down my cheeks. The more I tried not to thing about it, the more tears followed. Oh how I miss my mom, especially on days like that. Clare and Mom had a very special relationship. That’s not to say that mom didn’t love my other children just as much, but Clare and Mom were a lot alike in many ways. Clare would walk down to mom’s and help her with her hair in the evenings from time to time. That was their time to chat and gossip and catch up on the ways of the world. They just understood each other so well. Life is never going to be the same when you lose someone you love with such intensity. We learn to go on and re-establish the relationships we have just a little differently because that one dynamic that was so dear is no longer present in the physical state. I know mom was with us last night, at least looking down on us from above and probably singing in heaven, “that’s my granddaughter. She is beautiful, isn’t she?”