Pomp and Circumstance


Well, it’s a done deal. Chandler is officially graduated. By the skin of our teeth. He got to the location, throwing on his cap and gown less than 5 minutes before they called his name. Knowing how Chandler feels about pomp and circumstance, I was holding my breath the whole way.

The ceremony was personal and heartfelt. With a small class at a one-on-one school, there was time for each graduate to come forward and hear a personal word from their mentor. Chandler’s teacher shared, almost at the point of tears, how 10:30am Mondays and Wednesdays, his regular time with Chandler, would not be the same. He was selfishly regretting not having Chandler in his life anymore. Chandler does have a way getting under your skin.

We greeted all this with a certain sense of pride and relief. There were so many times along the way we doubted we would ever get to this place. There were times we wondered if Chandler would be here for this moment.

Our lives have milestones. The children of Israel called them memorial stones — times when God met them in a powerful way, and they wanted to erect a small altar of stones so they could circle back and relive the moment in the future whenever they were tempted to doubt God’s faithfulness to them. This is where God met us.

God certainly met us yesterday. We are overwhelmed with gratitude whenever we think back on Chandler’s life and the privilege we have had to share in it. The challenges have only made it that much more meaningful. All life is precious. All of it given from the hand of God. Events liked this force us to stop and notice.

Anne was key to this whole week working, and we didn’t even know she was coming practically until she arrived on the scene. That surprise made everything special. She is the spark plug of this family and I know I’m not supposed to mix metaphors, but she is also the glue that holds us together. All in all, we couldn’t imagine it going any better. Thank you for all your prayers. And please continue to pray for Christopher’s healing post surgery on his collarbone. So far everything has gone well for him.

“Pomp and Circumstance” is actually a series of six marches by English composer Sir Edward Elgar, the first of which is the most famous, now a staple as a processional at almost all high school and many college and university graduations in America. It is a stirring melody delivered in a constrained manner that makes it seem ready to explode on the scene, a fitting metaphor of the untapped graduate potential being unleashed on the world. It was first used for that purpose in 1905 at Yale University. I love the title. Not sure what it meant to Sir Edward, but I say, “Let the Holy Spirit handle the pomp; we’ll be true to the circumstance.”

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5 Responses to Pomp and Circumstance

  1. Priscilla says:

    My heartfelt congratulations to Chandler.

  2. dierama says:

    Truly touching moment! Truly touching words! Bravery at its best!

  3. Mark D Seguin says:

    congratulations to Chandler.

  4. Lisa in Sunland says:

    You all look so happy in the picture! May happy moments in Chandler’s life – and all of your lives – continue.

    I’m confused about your ending quote saying to let the Holy Spirit handle the pomp, since pomp is usually (and in your Catch) “a ceremonial or festival display.” This leaves me at a loss as to what you mean, though it sounds really deep – I guess too deep for me! Blessings on ya.

  5. Awesome news! What a happy moment and a new beginning!

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