My nephew's friend, Raya, graduated from WSU's School of Nursing on Saturday and I attended her pinning ceremony yesterday in Spokane.The pinning ceremony gives the graduates an opportunity to light a candle and tell the audience about their plans for the future. I'm so proud of Raya and her decision to go back to school and be the first in her family to graduate with a bachelor's degree.
Raya's family traveled near and far to witness this great event. Her Mom and sister, Theresa, could not get warm in our single digit weather - they both live in Florida. I enjoyed meeting them and hearing their stories. Stories of love and acceptance! Theresa inspired me when she told me she sat with an intoxicated, homeless man at Laser Quest. She encouraged the manager to let him stay inside because it was just too cold on the streets.
The girls surrounded by Isaiah, Raya's son, and her brother, Jim. I sensed everyone's pride in Raya's accomplishment. Justin bought champagne for a special toast.
I took lots of pictures of Marilyn and Dan's Christmas decor. Dan told me they don't even get the decorations down from the attic anymore. The house looked and felt so festive. The Eddy's, Brook, Jake, Hank, and Willy, Rick and Judy, Steve and Terri joined in the celebration! Too bad Raya can't rest a little - she'll be studying for the national nursing board test in the next few weeks. She wants to get her license quickly so she can start the process of applying for critical care positions in local hospitals. No one has loved “my” residents more than the licensed nurses who cared for them. They’ve had to be the advocate of those with dementia, those who are just tired of living, and those whose families never visit. I want Raya to know she'll make a difference in many lives and how grateful I am that she chose this great profession. Today, I encouraged her to take time to reflect on this incredible accomplishment and offer a prayer of gratitude to those who supported and cheered for her the past few years!