The End of the World

I was glad the world didn’t end May 21 because it meant there’s a good chance I will be around to see my youngest son graduate from college this weekend (June 11).  I think there may even be some people besides me who would view my son’s impending graduation as a portentous event.

Patrick was never really interested in school when he was growing up.  He liked the social part of his education but apparently found the academic component too sedentary.  Patrick is an active and energetic guy, which explains why he loved sports and excelled as a high school wrestler.  He survived school, and I think he maintained grades just good enough to stay eligible to do the things he enjoyed.

Following high school, Patrick worked at things like wild land fire fighting, farming, and construction.  His best job from my perspective was working at Timberline Resort where fathers of employees could occasionally ski for free.  Patrick’s view of education didn’t change much, however, until he married and began thinking about a family.  His marriage to a wonderful young woman seemed to be the watershed between the impulsiveness of youth and the maturity required to be a successful adult. 

Patrick started making one good decision after another and eventually found himself at Western Oregon University where he was recently selected as the outstanding student in his program.  He has also been accepted to a very competitive graduate school at the University of Oregon.  Patrick had some help along the way, including a great unpaid internship in our Building Division and a similar experience with the City of Adair Village.  He has worked there for nearly a year and will begin serving as their part-time assistant city administrator July 1. 

My children have given me many proud and a few discouraging moments over the past 38 years, but I am most grateful for the gift of grandchildren with parents doing their best to raise them to be happy and caring people.  I did not imagine ten years ago the future I’m now living.  I did know, or at least hoped with conviction, that the world was not going to end anytime soon and that my obligation was to do my part to make it better.  I think the biggest part of fulfilling that obligation is maintaining faith in the people and the world around me.  I have been richly rewarded by that faith to this point in my life; and, considering the alternatives, I see no reason to change.  To paraphrase an old joke, “I plan to live forever.  So far, so good.”