Commencement

com-mence
transitive verb
from Vulgar Latin cominitiare
1. to have or make a beginning

Maura de Souza earned her degree in music from Sam Houston State, completing her last year of studies after being diagnosed with sarcoma. Maura's graduation was cause for huge celebration -- including a moonwalk, but a few days before the ceremonies, Maura had returned to MD Anderson Cancer Center. The struggle would be over within a few days.

Commencement. From the Vulgar Latin. To have or make a beginning.



If you feel moved by Maura's story, please consider making a donation to sarcoma research.

Comments

Gary Rodgers said…
Hear ! Hear!
marjorie said…
i got nothin.

weeping here.

ALL words seem like ineffectual little chucklenut Tinker Toys right now.
I am genuinely and deeply moved.

Thank you for sharing this, Joni. And your daughter Jerusha's compassion gives me faith that there's a better generation coming.
Theresa Lehr said…
Your post and the video were beautiful gifts to share. Thank you.
Suzan Harden said…
Best graduation ceremony I've ever watched...

You're so right, Joni. There's nothing to say in these situations. It's the 'doing' that makes the difference, like Jerusha's paper garden or my friend, Becky, showing up on our doorstep with my favorite kind of ice cream.
Joni Rodgers said…
I'm not usually one for forwarding, but I hope this post goes far and wide. I'm so very proud of these two vibrant, wonderful young women.

For Texas readers: Maura's story will be featured on Ch 26 news tonight right after American Idol.
Anonymous said…
Wow Wow. Good moments aren't always the easy moments, but the hard moments, too. What a good moment.

Hugs,
Daine
Ruth said…
There are no words, only emotion as the tears roll down my cheek and I feel the love and admiration that was in that hospital room for a young woman with so much courage and determination.

Thank you for sharing.
jennymilch said…
Your post is a bright tissue flower, Joni...
Anonymous said…
Tonight I was sitting here, thinking about how my life truly sucks, and a friend forwarded this link to me. It put things into perspective for me. What a brave young woman and what terrific children-swallowed-by-adults. As someone else said, it gives faith there's a better generation coming.
Thank you Mrs. Rogers for posting this beautiful and touching story about my sister and your daughter.

i can't even begin to understand what is happening in my world right now, and the pain is so intense I think sometimes i will fall from all the weight of an empty heart. But your words and the comments of people who have never even met my little sister and were encouraged by her story--and actually watched the whole video (which I think is stunning but I know I'm biased)--it is strangely comforting. Because words are so inadequate. But when someone listens to a story and is affected by it...it means something i guess. It means Maura will live forever...kinda like in Shakespeare's Sonnet:
"nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,/ When in eternal lines to time thou growest"
sonnet 18

the power of words.
i meant to say "effected" as in "effected by her story"
my literary bad. normally I wouldn't care...but y'all being writers and all...I was kinda embarrassed. thank God for my mom explaining the difference.
Joni Rodgers said…
Peace be with you, Lydia. Those are beautiful lines from Shakespeare.

I keep thinking too of the Keats poem:
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."
Joni Rodgers said…
(And don't worry -- most writers have terrible spelling. Besides which we all just want to hug you right now.)
DebStover said…
Thank you for sharing such a profoundly moving story.

~Deb
Christie Craig said…
WoW! Thanks for sharing this.

Life is precious. Thanks.

CC
Lydia,
I'm so glad you stopped by. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I was so touched by your sister's story.
Still crying and wiping away tears. What a moving tribute to two wonderful young women.
Kay Thomas said…
This was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
TJ Bennett said…
My heart hurts and soars at the same time. Joni, thank you for bringing this story to light. The humanity of you and your family never ceases to amaze me.

As a former teacher at Sam Houston State Univ., I have witnessed the generosity of the students and faculty there. God bless them for helping Maura to complete a little part of her journey home.

TJB