We were lucky….or unlucky….enough to have had three graduations this past weekend.  One in Atlanta.  One in Colorado.  And one right here at home.  No travel.  No hotels.  Being the anti-travel-ists we are, we chose the latter.

It was a sweet ceremony.  Small school, great kids, nice families.  We sat in the front row and observed the graduating seniors, as visions of parties, nap time, and summer filled their heads.

As it turned out, Oprah….yes, that Oprah….was delivering the commencement speech at the Colorado graduation.  I’ve since learned her talk was fabulous.  How could Oprah be anything but? 

The young man who gave the commencement address here, on Hilton Head, is as un-known as Oprah is known.  If all goes well, that will change.

His name is Reid D’Amico.  He graduated from the same school as our granddaughter, in 2011.   And, to paraphrase Dr. Seuss; “Oh, the places he’s (already) been and the things he’s (already) done.” 

You can look up his “stuff” on Google, if you want. He’s impressive.

He addressed the seniors of the graduating class of 2019.  He also, unwittingly, addressed two other seniors in the audience.  The Mister and me.

He speaks from experience, difficulty, and intelligence.   He tells you right off that he has Cystic Fibrosis which, as he says, is a terminal disease.  That’s tough stuff.  He adds that he’s a gay man in a world and business that is not necessarily pro-gay.  Also tough.  He says all of this lightheartedly and you know that he will survive.  And thrive.

In his talk, he told the seniors to develop a passion.  To know themselves as individuals.  And when they fail…and they definitely will.…to fail loudly.

We’ve always been told to develop our passion and recognize the strengths of our individuality.  But the “fail loudly “thing?  Never heard that before! 

We like that a lot and shall, indeed, make loud noises not if , but when, we fail in the future. 

So, be prepared to cover your ears.  The sounds may be deafening but we got permission from a young man who deserves to be heard.  Loudly and clearly.