Home > Education, Family > To life! To learning! To love!

To life! To learning! To love!

My last Freshly Pressed post was a letter to my deceased mother: abused, abuser, and so much more than either of those two words could ever tell you. In that post, I wrote to my mom:

You loved [Little Golden Books] more than any of the countless others you brought home in my childhood, telling me and my siblings that knowledge would bring us freedom. It would be our key out of poverty.

I bawl every time I read that post. In a thousand words, it’s what I always thought it would take me hundreds of thousands of words to tell her.

But why am I thinking of that post today? Why, indeed!

Because my younger brother will graduate with his master’s degree next week.

First there was my J.D. from UCLA. Then, there was Rache’s M.A. from Cambridge in England. Now, there is (almost) David’s M.Ed.

And there’s Madeline with her three kids, which–if I’m honest–Mom would’ve found even more thrilling than all of her other kids’ degrees put together. Degrees are nifty, but kids carry you into the future in ways that degrees never could!

I have no idea how Madeline talked David into attending his graduation ceremony, but she did. She did, bless her.

When I celebrate David’s commencement, I will be celebrating him. You bet your ass I will be!

But I will be celebrating Mom, too. I will hold my little boys on my lap and murmur a quiet thank you to the ex-boyfriend who practically demanded I take part in my own college graduation ceremonies. I thought such ceremonies were juvenile, but my ex said mine would be an opportunity for those who loved me to celebrate both me and my accomplishments. Because of his insistence I participate, I have one single video of my mom happy and mostly healthy. I have one video I can watch both smiling and crying as I say thank you, thank you, thank you. Knowledge has brought us freedom.

Next week, and through most moments before then, you’ll find me cheering. Though my tears might confuse you, they’re just another way I cheer:

To life! To learning! To love!


  1. December 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thrilling! I can feel it! Thank you – a lovely gift!

    (I know, wildly excessive use of exclamatory symbols – don’t care!)


    • December 5, 2015 at 5:22 am

      Heh. I can appreciate the exclamation marks. I usually try to limit the number I use in one place … but some days and moments, I find they just cannot be constrained, and that’s OK, too! 😀

  2. December 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Tears are such a mixed bag. Myself, I rarely cry out of sadness. Happiness? Often. Anger? Sometimes. Anything which touches my heart can make my eyes leak. Which they are after reading this post…

    • December 5, 2015 at 5:26 am

      When a best friend accompanied me for my wedding dress shopping, the lady helping me out had to deliver some kind of bad news. She came and told me with trepidation that she had bad news. She told me whatever it was and I shrugged. She was surprised and said she was used to more tearful reactions. My friend laughed and said, no, no, no, Deb’s a happy cryer! :p As if to demonstrate, I did indeed cry when I found The Dress.

  3. December 5, 2015 at 4:53 am

    To life! To learning! To love! That’s a wonderful mantra. Congrats to your brother. Success needs to be celebrated.

    • December 5, 2015 at 5:30 am

      I agree. I think it’s sometimes harder for people to identify their own successes than others’, which is where it’s grand how friends point out what they see. 🙂

  4. N.
    December 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Congratulations to your brother and to your entire family! Getting to celebrate an accomplishment together is sometimes more important for our emotional wellbeing than the accomplishment itself 🙂

  1. December 5, 2015 at 6:32 am
  2. December 11, 2015 at 6:59 am
  3. December 26, 2015 at 2:13 am

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