"Are you sure we can park here?" I turn to Bry adjusting my dress in the car as we park. "The parking around here has so many rules." I add.
"Yes, we can. Don't worry, we have plenty of time" he responds.
I can already feel the butterflies in my stomach as the motor stops purring and he removes the keys from the ignition. He throws the keys into my lap.
"Put them in your purse, would ya?" he says as it slams the car door.
I climb out of the car onto the sidewalk and notice the throngs of people on the street. There is no need to ask for directions now as it appears many are on the same pilgrimage as us. It is hard not to mistake who is heading to graduation today. Families walk, pride across their face as they pass the regular workday commuters. It is hard not to scream from the rooftops of this accomplishment.
Thirteen years of primary schooling, then four years of undergraduate work, one year of post-baccalaureate, then four years of medical school and now here we are waiting for the stroll across the stage and the piece of paper. This final act changing the Miss to Doctor.
We reach the front of the Center, our destination and scan the crowd for familiar faces.
"Jac" I hear the disembodied familiar voice yell. "We're over here."
"I see your dad" Bry says, "follow me".
It is in these situations I am thankful for a husband the size of a NFL player. As he walks, the crowd seems to part and I easily walk behind as we meet my parents.
"Can you believe this crowd?" my mom says. "It's going to be hard to find seats."
"I'm not worried" I say, "We've got dad on our side!"
Everyone laughs and nods in agreement. Pleasantries are exchanged as we all nervously wait.
The doors finally open and the throng of people gravitate to the doors and stairways up to the balcony.
"Keep your dad in sight" my mom yells to me.
While my dad pushes through, the rest of us stick together and make it to the balcony together. As we enter the door, my father's voice echos.
"Over here! I've got enough seats for us all" he screams across the collection of rows.
We sit and it is the first time I see the program. My fingers trace the embossed logo. XXX University College of Medicine Commencement the program reads.
As I open it, tears fill my eyes a little bit. I search the list of names, my finger following along and then I see it, listed under those who secured the requirements for medical doctorate.
My little sister is a doctor.
The rest of the graduation is a blur. I'm thankful for the mints I have in my purse during the various speeches and honorary doctorates, and debate playing hangman with Bry at one part. After nearly two hours, there is a glimmer of hope to the ceremony as the announcement rings that hooding will begin.
I look to my mom and dad for a moment. My mom is dabbing her eyes with a tissue, the tears well up easily today. My dad is in a precarious position over the side of the balcony attempting to find the perfect place to shot a photo.
We find her in the sea of black robes, her curly hair tamed under the black cap. Her smile meets mine and we wave to each other.
"Jeanna Ane XXXX" they say as she walks across the stage and the green hood is placed over her shoulders.
It's that time of year...graduation.
For this week's prompt we are asking you to remember a graduation. It doesn't have to be yours and it doesn't have to be high school.