Mackenzie Presta Graduation Party Picture With Cousins – Take One:
Mackenzie Presta Graduation Party Picture With Cousins – Take Two
(Ian, a little less enthusiasm please):
In early July, 1994, shortly after I earned a business degree from Ohio State, I was in the middle of a 119 mile river trip on the Edisto River in South Carolina with three other counselors and a group of pretty tough boys known as the Korees (I assure you they were no relationship to the Bloods or the Crips, as much as they tried to pretend otherwise). I was standing along the bank of the river at a small park where we had stopped to re-fill our water jugs and catch a breath. One of the counselors went to use a pay phone (pre-cell phone days) to call in to camp and let them know we were doing OK. When he returned, he let me know I was an uncle for the first time. My sister Kim had given birth to my niece Mackenzie.
Last weekend the boys and I went to Erie, PA with our Ohio family to celebrate Mackenzie’s high school graduation. I don’t know what I found harder to believe, that my niece was suddenly a high school graduate, or that along the way I helped create two additional cousins for her. Either way, I was reminded how fast time flies by. That my own two little boys will one day be posing for graduation pictures.
In a sort of life moves in circles way, Mackenzie will be continuing her education at Ohio State later this year. She has grown into a wonderful young lady. I am proud of her. I am also proud of the job my sister has done as a parent. Though there have been challenges over the past 18 years, she has never neglected her obligation as a parent. In a day when abandoning parental responsibilities to make life a bit easier has become as routine as trimming a few items from the grocery list to meet the budget, my sister has clung tightly to her role of mom.
Although it is my dad’s example as a father that guides me as a dad most days, my sister serves as a great inspiration and reminder this Father’s Day that I have no more influential role in life than that of being a dad.
Many of the t-shirts I’ve collected over the years have found their way to Goodwill. I have proudly held onto this one, though, as the boys who made the shirt after our trip insisted on including the uncle after my name to capture just how proud I was, and many of them as well, of how our trip was marked by some awesome news.