This past weekend Haley and I had the chance to go to Utah to celebrate Kayla’s graduation.  I took exactly one picture:

So now Spencer and Kayla have officially left the world of student life behind and are looking forward to a whole new adventure.  They are still making plans for where life is going to take them next.

Despite the VERY long commencement and convocation ceremonies, there were some great remarks that reminded me of the value of education – especially for what it does to make me more capable of helping those around me.  But can I just mention how very LONG those meetings were??  With over 6,000 students graduating, there was just no getting around the crowds and lines and the waiting.  I’m grateful that part is done.

Kayla’s parents, grandparents, and sister came out for the weekend, so we got a chance to spend time together visiting and making sure Kayla felt extra special.  It was a lot of fun and I hope we get to do it again soon.

While we were in Utah, we took the opportunity to go visit Andrew.  He was recently accepted to the Job Corps program at Weber Basin in Ogden, Utah.  He’s busy finishing up his last few high school credits and working on an electrical trade course as well as finally getting his drivers license.  We’ve talked a few times over the course of the month, but this was the first time we had seen him since we took him to the airport at the first of April.  Andrew was happy to see us and was full of interesting things to tell us about his experiences.  He is enjoying classes and new friends and the general environment.  It was a relief to see that he is happy and has settled into this new phase of his life.  Spencer, Haley, Andrew, and I enjoyed dinner and then, in a nod to the many outings my grandpa Cottle arranged, we took in a round of mini-golf.  Spencer was pleased to make sure we all knew that he won! 🙂  We finished up the evening with shakes at Sonic and then dropped him back off.  Raising Andrew has been challenging, but this visit gave me a glimpse of a more hopeful future for him and for our family relationships.

Finally, one last milestone.  My uncle Sherwood Bridges passed away on April 20 and his funeral was held on Saturday.  The last few years have been particularly challenging for him due to a chronic illness that left him unable to do much of anything.  I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to hear my cousins share their memories of their dad.  I got to see a completely different side of him, and it was comforting to see how much he is loved and how much he loves his family.  While I’m sure Uncle Sherwood is grateful to be free of the worn out body he left behind, I know he is missing all his loved ones just as they are missing him.  Once again I am grateful for the knowledge that this life is not the end and that one day we will all be reunited – what a joyous day that will be!  Meanwhile, I’m just a little jealous that Uncle Sherwood can hang out with Tom, while I’m still stuck here!

I just finished Goodbye Stranger and this quote sums up the idea of milestones perfectly:

“it was like saying “and and and and” … it didn’t feel anything like the end.”

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