Guys, on our flight home from San Diego I got a call from our local library (we are total book nerds. Vic is even on the Library Board) asking me if I would sing the National Anthem for a G.E.D ceremony. The woman explained to me that these people have been working very hard for well over a year to earn their G.E.D.
7th or 8th grade was the highest education many of these amazing people were able to finish in their home countries. When Daisy, the community education coordinator, told me about past ceremonies, and how the students cried during the National Anthem, I just couldn't keep it together. I hung up the phone and told Vic. Both of our eyes were wet as I told him what an honor it felt like to be asked to do this.
A few days after getting back to Park City and back to the stress of our everyday lives, I got a little dressed up and headed to the library for the ceremony. It was just as powerful and emotional as I expected. I introduced the song and shared a few thoughts about how brave these students were for committing to education and not giving up. I had to pause a moment to keep it together before starting the song and I made sure to look slightly upward toward the back wall during the song. (I couldn't look anyone in the eyes because I knew I'd lose it).
On top of all this, a sweet friend from my ward was one of the graduates. I had no idea! She was also asked to be the student speaker and did an excellent job. One of the men (on the far left) was a doctor in his home country of Cuba, yet, here he was in his broken English earning his high school diploma.
I was reminded of all the opportunities I've been given and was so inspired by the sacrifices these members of my community have made to improve themselves and the lives of their children. It was no Broadway performance, but it filled my soul with such sweetness.
I'm truly not where I always dreamed I'd be (living in NYC performing), but I love where I am. We are all brave in so many different and unique ways.