Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me - thirty years ago I graduated from Oregon State University
with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and it was my mom's 45 birthday. My family lived in Edmonds, Washington; a five hour drive from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. I had moved back home the week earlier, as my finals were all done. My mom, younger sister, aunt, my best friend and myself (my dad would be watching from heaven, having passed away almost 5 years earlier) drove from Edmonds to Corvallis; leaving bright and early to get to Corvallis a couple of hours before the start of the ceremonies.
We get to my sorority (go Alpha Xi Delta!)
so that I could change clothes and get ready for the ceremony only to discover that I had left the tickets at my mom's house! Panic started to set in. Each graduate had been given 4 tickets. Fortunately, one of my sorority sisters heard of my plight and offered two of her tickets that she was not using.
Thank you, Jesus! We decided that my mom and sister would be the lucky ticket holders and we would go over to the auditorium (the basketball arena at Oregon State University) and see if we could garner two more tickets. After having no luck we happened upon an unguarded open door. I am not one to do something wrong purposely,but hey what the heck, I had tickets for my family, just left them at home. My aunt and best friend snuck in through the open door and found my mom and sister. If the start of this special time wasn't stressful enough, towards the beginning of the graduation a middle age woman made her way to the stage and got up to the microphone, as the president of the college was speaking and spoke into the microphone and told everyone to leave the building, as there was a bomb about to go off in the building. Holy cow, everyone froze not sure what to do. Now remember this was 30 years ago, some 19 years before 9-11. Had this happened anytime in the last 10 years everyone probably would have been running out of and away from the building as quickly as humanly possible. The arena was in slow motion, everyone not sure what to do. It seems like an eternity, but it probably was only about a minute or so later and one of the school officials came forward and told everyone to go back to their seats, as a family member of the middle aged woman had come forward and told the officials that she had mental health issues and that there was no bomb. I am just thankful that in 1982 we lived in an era where in the United States where this was all surreal. Had it been in the last few years, I am sure that I would have been very stressful,the graduation ceremony would have either been postponed or canceled and the arena would have for sure been evacuated immediately. Truly a memorable day engrained in my memory forever.