Just a few quick observations and thoughts. Last week was busy, and some things stick out.
On Tuesday, my wife Jeanne and I met up with some of my college roommates, friends and spouses. We keep in fairly regular contact, but occasionally life gets in the way, and the time between seeing each other sometimes extends too long. The great thing about old friends is that it’s never, “Hey, why haven’t you called,” but rather, “It’s been a while, but it’s great to see you!” We trade stories about our children, parents and siblings, talk of work, and spend some time re-telling tales of long ago, tales that get better with each passing year. There’s a certain comfort to it all, and I am thankful for them.
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Massachusetts Developmental Disability Council’s Independence College graduation. To say that it was incredibly inspiring would be an understatement. Sandy Houghton, a leadership trainer and advocate liaison for the MDDC said, “I never imagined a future like this for all of us.” How true. To see the joy, pride and sense of accomplishment in each of the students, of all ages, made the night as memorable as any other.
The next day I attended the promotion and swearing in ceremony for the Quincy Police Department, where new officers made a commitment to serving the public, and those being promoted renewed their oaths of office. Seeing these women and men, with their proud families at hand, willingly take on the sacrifices and risks to serve and protect, reminds us of the goodness that drives our public safety officers.
I also attended the awards ceremony for the Rockland Senior Olympics. Watching the participants get their medals, and then sharing the fun they had at the dinner afterwards, proves that age is just a number, and that spirit and friendship is ageless. Congratulations to them all!
On Friday, I attended a funeral of a family friend, one who struggled with substance use for a long time. He died entirely too young, his death robbing all of his warmth, humor and love of family. As difficult as it was to see his incredibly strong family struggle with their loss, seeing friends come together to offer love and support makes us all realize the importance of family and a close knit community.
Finally, while at lunch last week in Quincy, I barely noticed at first the diversity of the people eating at the restaurant. When I did notice, I marveled at it. My hope is that someday I won’t notice at all, that it won’t be a marvel, but only ordinary. It’s my hope for the entire world.