September 12, 2011

She Walks in Beauty

 An exerpt from:
She walks in beauty
by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies:
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Since our last entry we have spent more time on the road than at home, and while future entries will cover those trips, today I must write about the latest 9 hour trip to Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and the reason we took this journey - my sister Rose.

Last Friday my sister Rose graduated from the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Program at Columbus State - an accomplishment most deserving of the pomp and circumstance of a formal graduation.  This graduation ceremony was nothing like the stiff, self congratulatory ceremonies I've previously attended (and been a part of).  This was a graduation ceremony where every member of the graduating class had a story rife with obstacles, triumphs and difficulties.  When we walked into the auditorium the excitement, the overwhelming pride for the graduates and the promise of the future was palpable. Just stepping into the auditorium brought tears to my eyes.  As we took our seats an older man in front of us immediatly began to cry. "That's my mom, he said. She's done so much. I'm so proud of my mom."  Behind my tears I could only echo his sentiment. That was my sister.  Brave, strong, patient, determined and beautiful. I have always stood in awe of my sister Rose. Rose is my real life super woman. 

Rose, walking down the isle. Her smile says it all. 

The ceremony was perfect. It was real.  As the graduates walked the aisle family members shouted in joy for their loved ones. There was no request to hold back applause or praise and no famous speaker to deliver a generic "go out and cease the world" speech. Instead, each speaker spoke from his or her heart. The college president shared the stories of many of the graduates. Men and women who had overcome challenges and were moving forward - taking control of their lives in new and promising ways. The valedictorian shared his own story of dropping out of highschool and overcoming substance abuse.  The commencement speaker was a well loved professor, who spoke from his heart and reminded the graduates, reminded all of us, that if you want something badly enough, you'll give every part of yourself to get it and that if you commit, you will achieve.  Rose has done and continues to do just that. I'm lucky to have a sister so committed to bettering the world. There are few people out there who are willing to give of themselves the way Rose does. She is the thermostat the speaker spoke of. Rose does not just measure temperature, she changes climates.   I am honored to call her my sister. 

My superwoman - Rose Marrero   

Rose has chosen to continue her education. She's dreaming big and I cannot wait to see the heights to which she will soar. Rose has a big heart and very strong shoulders. She will continue to work with teens in rehab and lock down facilities. Rose plans to pursue another degree at Ohio State University, but more importantly Rose plans to make a difference in the lives of teens who need a strong, confident, smart woman like my sister to help them find their way again.

Rose and mom just after graduation.

An excerpt from
She walks in beauty
by Lord Byron

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent

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