I confess: I did not bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. Instead I drove to Fredericksburg for my daughter Catherine’s college graduation. But there was something heavenly about it all the same. I found myself full of emotion, and every time a family cheered for a son or daughter whose name was called a lump would rise in my throat. I thought about how many hours were represented by that moment: hours of caring for those children, watching them grow, teaching them to tie their shoes, taking them to school for the first time, and now this—this culminating moment when all those hours were rewarded by the calling of a name.
When Catherine’s name was called I stood and cheered as awkwardly as all the other parents. I wish I had done it better, more enthusiastically. I wish I had brought an air horn. I wish she could have heard my voice above all those other voices and known just how proud of her I was in that moment and yet, somehow, no prouder than I have been in every moment of her life.
No, I didn’t bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond yesterday. I hope somebody did. I was busy in Fredericksburg, holding on to the heaven I have, and storing up for those times when heaven seems far, far away.
I love you, Catherine.