Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bright, Bright Sun Shiny Day

The first two weeks in May felt more like March, with snow flurries making an unwelcome appearance. But on Friday morning the sun was shining in our world and in more ways than one. On Friday my beautiful girl, Ciolagh Ann graduated with her doctorate in Pharmacy.

The plan was to meet Ciolagh and Kevin at the Marriott in Madison at 11AM for lunch before the ceremony. So at 7:30AM we packed Louie into the car. No! Louie did not come with us. He went to emBark, doggie day care. On Friday evening the lovely Katie and future daughter-in-law would collect him. Louie arrangements got very involved.  I won’t go into all that now. Suffice to say, with Louie sorted, we left for Madison. The drive was very pleasant. The sun was shining and it was warm, so windows could be opened. Road works are not in full swing yet, so there were few traffic delays.

Twenty minutes outside Madison, I was jolted from my teary remembrances by my ringing mobile. Yes, the happy proud tears and quivering lips had started. It was oldest child, Rian. “Where are you,” he asked? “Just outside Madison.” “What time does the graduation start?” "It starts at 1:30." Rian glumly informed me he had gotten his days mixed up and thought tomorrow was Graduation day. Though I felt his pain through the mobile radio waves, I felt slightly better about my periodic memory lapses. If he got the days mixed up after a stressful week, maybe I’m not as bad as I thought. But I digress! When our conversation ended, I wasn’t sure what his plan was. My mobile rang again. I was shocked, the second time in as many minutes. This for a mobile though regularly charged rarely rings. As a result I keep forgetting my ring tone! It was Ciolagh this time and I confirmed we were only minutes away.

On arrival we checked into the hotel and after the hugs and kisses of greeting, Ciolagh told me she had spoken to Rian. They decided between them driving the five hours to Madison was crazy. He would join us for the planned bar-b-q in La Crosse on Saturday. I was very relieved to hear this news. I had visions of Rian speeding towards Madison, in a mad rush trying to make it to the ceremony on time. It was not a pretty vision! It involved police sirens!

As we parked the car, Ciolagh’s mobile rang. It was Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. Over the course of the next few minutes, arrangements were made for an interview and pre-interview dinner. This day was getting more memorable for her by the minute.

We had just placed our lunch orders when Dilin sauntered into the restaurant from his statewide dart competition in Wisconsin Dells. I wished he had shaved and wore a shirt and tie, but then that’s Dilin! I made no comment, but at one stage he looked at me with that infectious grin of his and said,” I didn’t know this was a dressy up kinda thing.” “You’re just fine Dilin.” I said grinning back at him. His father on the other hand, immune to the grin had a comment or two, but they fell on deaf ears.

Once lunch was over, it was decided we only needed two cars. Sally and Bob, (Ciolagh's in-laws) would take their car. Dilin, Liam and I would travel with Ciolagh and Kevin. On arriving at the hall we were lucky enough to get seats in the first row of the balcony section. The ceremony took two hours. I spent those two hours crying, more of those happy proud mother tears.

Memories of my girl’s bright cheery enthusiasm flooded my mind’s eye as I watched her cross the stage. The way she skipped in the door of our house in Ring after school, breathless and relate all the day’s doings. Even now as I type tears are welling in my eyes and that ugly mouth contortion thing is going on in an effort to suppress the flood of emotion from spilling over.

My girl has successfully jumped all the hoops and hurdles. Her childhood and student days a memory now. The time has come for her to enjoy the fruits of all the effort and hard work. Fruits she so richly deserves.  But for this teary eyed mother, the time has passed too quickly....much too quickly!
Love you Princess!


Karen Walker said...

Oh, Ann, how wonderful for you. What a loving tribute to a lovely daughter. Congratulations to both of you.

aLmYbNeNr said...

Congratulations! How wonderful!

Brigid said...

Ann, now I have 'the ugly mouth contortion thing' going on and she is not even my daughter. Congratulations to her and you, what a proud moment.
I think I may have a junior Dilin in the making myself - boys and their grins.

KarenG said...

Congratulations to you and your daughter! What a wonderful accomplishment!

Ann Best said...

I love family stuff. Beautiful photographs of a beautiful young woman. Thanks for posting them. And congratulations from me too!!

Ann said...

Please excuse me for being very remiss in my blog commenting. Once I arrive home next week, I will be more organized...Well that's the plan anyway!

Hi Karen, Thank you! I will pass your congratulations onto Ciolagh.

Hi aLmYbNeNr, Thank you for stopping by. Drop in again.

Hi Brigid, I will pass on your congratulations to Ciolagh. God help you, if you are contending with that grin! You may as well throw your hands in the air and concede now!!!

Hi KarenG. Thank you and I will pass on your congratulations to "My Girl"

mise said...

Well done to Ciolagh - that's a great accomplishment!

Ann said...

Hi Ann, I missed your message. I am glad you enjoyed my jaunt down proud alley. I will pass on your congratualtions too.

Hi mise, Thank you. She worked very hard and now can bask in her glory for another little while. I am hoping she stops in and collects all my blogger friends congratulations herself.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww Ann!!!
What a beautiful talented and amazing daughter you have there! Of course you're one proud and teary eyed mum. You should not only be blubbing but blubbing heartily as only a very happy mum would! So well done to Ciolagh and to you!

What a memorable and wonderful day!
take care

Anonymous said...

haha those are great pictures! Thanks for the congratulations everyone! Graduation was great, mostly because of the great company I had to celebrate with me. I am happy happy happy to be done with school-its been a long and hard road-I dont know if I really believe it is done. Now just gearing up for the boards-fingers crossed that goes well (along with the interview). Love you Mom.

Theresa Milstein said...

This is such a sweet post. And thanks for including pictures. It sounds like she's on her way.

Jan Morrison said...

What a wonderful tribute from a proud mama! I loved it and the photo montage too. I also liked the reality bits of drama, wrong day, casual clothes etc...made it all REAL!

MissV said...

Congratulations! I'm running across such wonderful, upbeat posts today. Thanks for sharing the good news with us!

Catherine said...

Ann, congrats to you all and especially to your lovley daughter, love the kiddie pics! What an unusual name too! You are rightly proud of her, nothing like basking in reflected glory of the achievements of our children. Best of luck to her in her future life too. Where was your house in Ring? I'm curious! Will we see you at Immrama 2010? Hope so - you might even end up in the frame of my camera again - unwittingly!
(I replied to your comment on my post on the Ring of Kerry over at my blog by the way - a bit late!)
All the best, Catherine.

Ann said...

Hi Ciolagh, I am so glad you stopped by and got to collect all your congratulations. Aren't my bloggers friends great!!!!

Hi Kitty, yes it was a memorable day for all of us. I have a photo of red puffy eyes to remember it by!

Hi Theresa, Thank you! Looking forward to lunch in Avoca.

Hi Jan, Drama is my first name, middle name and last name. If I had another name it would be that too! It follows me wherever I go.

Hi Miss V, An upbeat Wednesday, nothing could be better. Well maybe an upbeat Monday!

Hi Catherine, have my tickets booked for Immrama. Whew! Our house in Ring was the one on the corner as you turn down to the college. Loved that house, broke my heart to leave it. I will be dodging your camera this time. LOL

Watery Tart said...

Ann (and Ciolagh--okay, how the heck do you pronounce that? Looks Scotish, which I ALWAYS get wrong) Congratulations to both of you!

Ann said...

Hi Watery Tart, Ciolagh is Irish, it means beautiful face and is pronounced Kee-La. Long e, short a.

Agnes said...

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! ! !

Ann said...

Oh Thank you Agnes for the artistic Congrats. Ciolagh will love it.

Karen said...

What lovely pictures, and a great tribute to your daughter :o)

Ann said...

Thanks Karen. I do love those photos!

Olive said...

Congratulations to both you and your daughter, what a great achievement!

Jackee said...

Beautiful! And congrats to her. (How do you pronounce her name? It's lovely!)

All the times my husband and I graduated with our degrees we didn't make it a celebration. But now reading this, I wish we would have! It makes me wistful.

Have a great flight, BTW. (It's here, isn't it?)

Susan Fields said...

What a beautiful post - congrats to your daughter!

Anonymous said...

Oh Ann, it is so easy for you to make me cry! You really made it feel like we were all there to witness the big day. Ciolagh has only turned out to be amazing because she has an amazing mother! John and I send our congratulations and we are crossing our fingers that something pans out with Gunderson Lutheran. Gosh, that would be a great start to your summer in Ireland!
P.S. Meg Mueller also just graduated from UW Madison's Vet School and was lucky to get a position as a large animal Vet with a practice in Osseo.

Plain Jane said...

Pharmacy, what an accomplishment! My Latin Lover tried it for a year and hated it. He is a hyperactive and couldn't stand being trapped in the pharmacy. Now he is happily running around the hospital as a nurse. But enough about me, congradulations to your daughter!

loveable_homebody said...

Aw Ann, this is so sweet! Pharmacy is so impressive. Your daughter looks so happy! Sounds like a very eventful day.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

What a wonderful post. Loved watching your cute girl grow up into a wonderful woman.