There were a lot of photos in that shoebox my wife brought back from Hawaii. Including an entire album full of photos from my high school graduation. Like this photo with my mom:
In many ways, this graduation was an accomplishment for both of us. Obviously, I had to do all the academic work involved. For my mom, the accomplishment was making the money to pay for it.
Because, you see, I went to a private school. In Hawaii. It was either that or I'd be bored and beat up in Hawaii's public schools.
Granted, because of my mom's financial situation, we were able to get some level of financial aid. As I remember, she ended up having to pay about half the tuition, which ended up being around $25,000 for four years. For someone of my mom's means, that was quite a lot of money, especially back then.
My mom never graduated college. I won't say my mom's life was rough but she had some pretty sour lemons to make lemonade from. She wanted to make sure the lemonade I made with my life lemons was better.
No doubt, this got me on the right foot. I was able to get into a good college that I ultimately graduated from and started towards the career and family I have now. All made possible by the sacrifices my mom made.
Every day, I count my blessings, thankful my lemons were just a little sweeter, thankful I found a better recipe.