The Great Beyond

by | May 15, 2024 | Home Life

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The two words “graduation” and “commencement” are interchangeably used for an event that gives people a degree or diploma, lots of kudos, and of course, presents. They are both the beginning and the end. I choose to use the word “commencement,” because it is the beginning of something new, unknown, life changing, one of those “who knows what the future will hold” events?  On the other hand, the word “graduation” means the end of something, years of school, a program, or a course of study. Isn’t it always better to look ahead than to focus on what has come and gone, regardless of its size or status, big or small?

This year we had two commencements, Cowboy’s granddaughter is on to bigger and better things in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She majored in film, which means what? What will her Great Beyond include? Star-studded feature films, television, commercials, documentaries about hunting in Cheyenne for grizzlies, or building fun YouTube podcasts about how to clean a Keurig coffee maker. The world is her Apple, and I’m positive that someone told Steve Jobs that sometime. She might even end up doing something that hasn’t been invented yet, but whatever it is, she is prepared and will meet the challenge with grace and confidence. 

Our second commencement ceremony this year is for our grandson who will participate in his high school commencement ceremony this week in Boise. He is headed to the Great Beyond, whatever that might hold for him. I think he will be a writer, because that boy can tell stories. Or a fisherman. He will attend Montana State in Bozeman and will have access to some of the best streams in the world. Look out, Mr. Trout…he’s on the prowl. His parents think he’ll become a doctor, and he might, but whatever he chooses, he is ready for his life’s adventure.

As for Cowboy and me, we have had a lot of graduations, finishing things and can say “been there, done that, what’s next?” We have checked off many items on our bucket lists and are always looking for something new, our commencement of each and every day. Adventure, something new and improved, even if it is just something simple that we have never experienced before. The Great Beyond calls, and what does the Great Beyond hold for us this month? Why, of course, we are looking forward to eating a piece of pie in Cooke City sometime soon. Not that it matters, but I like Apple.

Gail Cushman is a free-lance writer, living in Columbus, Montana. She writes under Helene Mitchell, as well as Gail Cushman.

Gail Cushman, Author


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