graduation and an operation


I didn’t expect to cry.

But at the first strains of ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ I began to tear up. We’d thought of and talked about this day for so long. Unlike other states, Utahns don’t indulge in kindergarten graduation or 6th grade advancement or 8th grade promotion. We’re just too practical. There is simply this one big night after thirteen years of public education.

It had crept up on us so gradually, clicking through every milestone, that ordering the tassels and announcements felt normal. And yet, sitting before me in his cap in gown, playing in the orchestra was the undeniable evidence that my time with Ben at home was nearly over.




I’m not wringing my hands wondering: Have I taught him all he needs to know? Will he be OK? Ben is, most definitely, OK. I only worry about his too-opinionated political views. 😉



And today, just a few short hours after the caps flew into the air, we are at LDS Hospital where Ben is getting surgery.

Remember that trip to the emergency room last week? A few hours later Ben was diagnosed with a hernia It was especially fun for him when the docs asked, “So were you pumping iron? Playing ball?”

And Ben had to confess “I was practicing a mock drill team routine for the final assembly.” That’s my boy– the dancer.

The doc was able to literally push Ben’s intestines back where they belong and scheduled him for surgery today with the warning, “If you’re going to cough or sneeze be sure to hold yourself in.”

Mary and I got to accompany Ben this week on a delightful round of appointments as the doctor read us ‘The Hernia Book’ complete with charts and illustrations.

So here I wait. Ben was able to sign all his own medical forms; I’m only here to pay, listen and provide a ride home. And to worry just a little. Although this is a simple (albeit blushworthy) fix with modern medicine, it’s still disconcerting to see my son wheeled away on a gurney. As grown and capable as my boy has become, he also seems so fragile– I am profoundly aware of the mothers who lost their sons at 18, just at the edge of life.

I wait and I pray for the years and the decades to witness the man he will become.

June 3, 2010
June 8, 2010



  1. Selwyn

    June 5, 2010

    Wow – what a double whammy to deal with!

    Hugz and prayers that it all goes incredibly well!

  2. Tracy

    June 5, 2010

    Oh wow – ouch. Me holding my ears(la la la la la)Sending positive thoughts for a speedy recovery.

    The cap and gown pictures are fabulous. Happy. Amazing. 🙂


    …so about those strong political views…;)

  3. Sue

    June 5, 2010

    One of my sons had double inguinal hernias. It was a pretty quick fix, thankfully. Amazing what they can do these days.


    PS. Hope his recovery goes well, and congrats to him on graduating!

  4. 佳慧

    June 5, 2010

    連接生與死這兩塊陸地的橋樑是愛…… ..................................................

  5. Linn

    June 5, 2010

    Happy Graduation and sending thoughts and prayers your way for the recovery. Modern medicine is so wonderful, but there is still worry that goes along with anything involving those sweet kids. Ben is one tremendous boy.

  6. katieo

    June 6, 2010

    WHY does every single one of your posts make me cry?

    Maybe because I see my boys in yours? I don’t know. But seriously. I have to prepare myself before I click over.

    Congrats to Ben.

    Modern Medicine is one of God’s greatest gifts.

  7. Rachelle

    June 6, 2010

    My word, Michelle. Seriously. Are you considering writing a book? Because you should. Golly, poor Ben. And yes, the graduation of your firstborn? I’ve done that. Don’t even go there emotionally. Yikes. Wonderful post!

  8. Rachelle

    June 6, 2010

    One last comment… Mary’s cowboy boots… wayyy too cute.

  9. Ken

    June 6, 2010

    Congratulations Ben! I love and admire you and your many accomplishments. I’m thrilled that you are going to BYU this Fall.

    Wishing you a full and quick recovery!
    With love,
    Grandpa Ken

  10. Michelle

    June 7, 2010

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Jan Russell

    June 7, 2010

    Such the handsome graduate! And your words made me all welled up, because I feel like I’m going to blink and be right there…SLOW DOWN, sons!!!

    I know all will go smoothly with the surgery – hang in there! And tell Ben not to cough or sneeze in the meantime 😉

  12. Travelin'Oma

    June 7, 2010

    There is nothing more humbling than seeing your son become a man. Overnight you’re looking to them for strength and wisdom, and amazingly, they have it! It’s another evidence that they came trailing clouds of glory. Congratulations.

  13. Denise

    June 7, 2010

    Great job, Ben! Great job, Michelle. And btw, many, many Utah schools have kindergarten graduation and 6th grade graduation. It’s probably just your district. My dear friend in Alpine just sent me video of her son’s elaborate 6th grade graduation. So, I guess it’s a good thing that you live where you do, or with 6 kids — you’d have too many graduations to deal with, no?

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