Treasure special moments in life

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, May 23, 2010

May is an exciting and emotional month. For so many families,this time of year means a time of change – good change and excitingchange – as doors open for new opportunities and hard work isrewarded. For us parents there will be tears, not of sorrow, but ofjoy, as we reflect on days past and the steps taken to get to thepomp and circumstance of graduation night.

As a new parent not that many years ago, I chuckled at the fatherlyadvice from an older parent about the speed in which children grow.I now chuckle at the expression on the faces of new parents as Ipass on the same wisdom.

“Enjoy these days and treasure the moments for you will look backone day and wonder where did they go?”

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2010 has been an emotional year in my family, the sorrow of myfather’s death and the pride of accomplishment hearing my youngestdaughter giving the salutatory address to her graduatingclass.

As one chapter closes a new one begins, such is the circle of life.Mere, both of your grandfathers are smiling down on you right nowand beaming with pride.

“Enjoy these days and treasure the moments …”

For the past few months I have thought about that advice as Ireflected on my memories of my dad, so too of Meredith – the funtimes and the tough times, the hugs, the smiles and the joy she hasbrought to Amy, myself and everyone around her. As all parents do,I have enjoyed thinking and pondering what the future will bringfor her.

In a column written a few years back following another familygraduation ceremony, I suggested new high school graduates alsotreasure the moments, for reality is about to land squarely at yourfeet and what you do with that reality is now solely up to you. NotMom, not Dad, nor a favorite teacher – you.

Some of you will marry, find a job and raise a family. Others willjoin the workforce and start careers. The rest of you will furtheryour education pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and professionaldegrees – none of it is going to be easy.

Regardless of your path, many of you will find out that opportunitywill strike, but rarely will it strike twice. Prepare for thatopportunity and don’t be afraid to grasp it out of fear offailure.

If you do fail, learn from those failures and search for newopportunities. Nothing is certain, but one thing is: If you nevertry you will never fail, but you can never succeed if you nevertry.

Strive for the top, but don’t forget those who helped you getthere. Treat people like you would like to be treated and most willreturn the same. Friendships and relationships are important andbring happiness and contentment. A strong faith in the Lord willbring you even more.

In this fast-paced instant information world we live in today,fairness and truth are more important than ever, and despite whatyou may see or hear, the good guys do win more often than not.Honesty and credibility will carry you far, these will be themeasuring stick by which others judge you.

Some of you will leave this community never to return except tovisit. What you will discover is that at the core, every communityis the same and there is little difference.

You will find that it is what you put into your new community iswhat you get out of it. Get involved in your new surroundings andstrive to make a difference, for you really can make a difference.One day consider returning home to throw down your own roots. Youwill discover that Brookhaven and Lincoln County offer moreopportunities than your realize.

All of you will find that there is no free pass, and despite whatsome would lead you to believe these days, it is only your own hardwork – not that of others – that will bring you independence andsuccess. How hard and smart you work will determine how successfulyou will be and how satisfying that success will be to you. What issuccess? Only you can determine your definition.

Graduates, treasure these moments but don’t just try to re-livethem and accept the status quo; reach out for new horizons, reachout for bigger goals and, more than anything, believe in yourselfas well as your dreams. Dreams are so important!

Finally, give Mom and Dad an extra hug this morning – especiallythose who are about to become empty nesters, for your dreams areours too and your confidence gives us strength.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS 39602, orsend e-mail to