Mother’s Day and your college graduation are just a few days apart, which has me reflecting on our mother/daughter bond. You and this huge milestone are gifts that make me extremely proud. It makes me think of gifts from your heritage. You are only the second generation from my family to graduate from college. You may remember the closure that ended each mother/daughter class that we took at the Unitarian Church when you were a young girl. “I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.” You have inherited a beautiful legacy of mother/daughter connection.
I am grateful that your Nana has been such a part of your life. You already know that you have feisty, quirky, and funny DNA coursing through your veins. I have sweet memories of my Maw Maw. I remember being rocked by her on their front porch and her singing the lullaby “Hush Little Baby”. And I’ve heard similar sweet memories from Nana of her grandmother, Minnie Mae. It’s important for you to know that you come from a heritage of love.
That legacy includes the wonderful Dads in your lineage too. Even if your memories of your grandfather are vague, you’ve been raised with stories about him and your great grandfather too. If you ever wonder what your great grandfather was like, look no further than your Uncle Dudley. The warmth, love of family, wicked sense of humor, and even his looks were inherited from his dad, your great grandfather.
When you were little, you loved to look in my jewelry box and ask me if the jewelry was going to be yours someday. For your graduation gift I am giving you a piece of jewelry that is part of your heritage. It is yours; to keep, or wear, or sell, or save to pass on to a daughter you may have someday. It is the ring my grandfather gave me when I graduated from LSU.
You know this ring as my engagement ring. Because this ring meant so much to me, your Dad added the diamonds and we made it the ring that would represent our marriage. Your Dad and I may not be married anymore, but you do know that our love for you has never faltered. We have always believed in your abilities and your dreams. You were born to parents who planned for you and who wanted you, when we were young, happy and in love. That’s what this ring represents and it is now yours.
I am proud of the woman you’ve become. Congratulations on your college graduation milestone. Your adult life is just beginning. During the ups and downs of where your life will take you, always know that you come from a circle of love.