Afterhours Inspirational Stories Afterhours Inspirational Stories


by: Bill Greer, Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul

Last weekend marked one of the nicest days so far this Spring.

It was warm with a tiny breeze, the sun penetrated through lightweight sweaters to warm the skin, the male choir was warming up and the graduates were milling around the lawn behind the throng of 6000-plus observers.

With all of the parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, the State University was a hub of activity. My nephew was going to receive his Bachelors Degree. Who would have guessed that four years would go by so quickly?

As the crowd of freshly-polished and scrubbed candidates wandered, joked, hugged and chattered behind the bleachers, I heard several cell phones ring. There were several non-sensical conversations going on with the accompanying giggles of the not-quite-mature students, but then one conversation in particular caught my attention:

"Yes, Grandma, I'm really graduating. I can't believe it, either! I never thought I'd be here today, you know? Really! Like, I know it! Yup, it's a very special day... Oh, what did the doctor say? He did? I know, Gran.... I know you wanted to come... It's ok... No, really, please don't cry... It's a very happy day, you know?

"Hold on, we're lining up... ok, all set... yup, the center aisle... the grass is awesome! Smells really good, too... Oh wow, they've got like a zillion balloons they're going to release! Yes, Kelly's here... ok, I'll give her your love... here we go! Gran, I'm graduating!

"Love you, too, Gran. I'm so glad you could be here with me!"

And somehow, my initial surprise and disdain at the use of cell phones during such a serious occasion left me. For these little representatives of modern technology had joined a young woman and her doting Gran to share a very special moment in time.

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