Twenty-four years ago, as you stood to receive your kindergarten graduation diploma, I wept. Everything was new. All hopes and dreams were possible. You were forging out into the world with your own unique set of passions and talents. My heart burst with love, admiration and pride.
Since that time, I have witnessed you in millions upon millions of snapshots in time. As a student, you often had an alternative answer, a different method, a creative solution. As an aspiring athlete, countless times you shouted “watch me” or “time me again” as you raced around our complex at your fastest speed.
I have watched in awe as you have grown to embody kindness, compassion, non-judgement, patience, balance, determination and resilience.
Nothing has made me feel more helpless than seeing the bumps you hit along the road. And nothing, absolutely nothing has made my spirits soar more than witnessing your joy for life and your successes.
You are a now a geographer focused on urban, cultural and environmental issues. You are passionate about our world environment, democracy, internationalism, fairness and human rights.
You are not only a researcher and an academic, you are an athlete who competed for Canada in the Men’s 50K Racewalk in the Pan Am Games last summer. You have now turned that talent and passion into long distance running. You speak two languages and are an extensive traveler. You are also a die-hard fan of alternative music that I do not understand.
Readers that don’t know you will dismiss the above as simply a mother’s rose-coloured perspective. Those that do know you will be aware that these mere words have not done you justice.
Today, as you stand to receive your Doctor of Philosophy diploma, I weep. Everything is new. All hopes and dreams are possible. You are forging out into the world with your own unique set of passions and talents. My heart bursts with love, admiration and pride.