This is the season for high school and college graduations, but for my family yesterday was a different type of graduation day. At St. Vincent hospital in Indianapolis the day before a person is discharged from the hospital is called their “Graduation Day.” My dad has moved from ICU to a regular room and then to a room on the rehab floor and now he is coming home today. We are to go pick him up in a couple of hours and after a mountain of paperwork he will get to come home. To recognize his last full day in the hospital they celebrated his graduation day yesterday. I am not sure what all they did but when we walked into his room he had on a camouflage cape with a superman emblem on the back. I also know he was given a “diploma” in his information folder that he appeared proud to have achieved. Being an inquisitive person, I searched around and found two more people on his floor that were celebrating their graduation day too.
This experience has me thinking a lot about the concept of “going home.” Dad has had an okay experience in the hospital. The people have been nice and most are very helpful. He has made a few friends in therapy who all call him by his birth name of Freddie. There have been no majorly bad encounters during the last three and a half weeks. But still, it is nothing like being at home. Home is where your family is located. Home is where you are completely comfortable. Home is better than the best a hospital has to offer.
I will be honest, I am glad my dad is still with us and has a chance to come back to New Ross Indiana. But I know his real graduation day is coming. Same for my mom. Same for the rest of my family. Same for you. Same for everyone you know. Same for me. There will come a time when we all spend our last day on earth. A day in which we graduate from this life to the next.
For those of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior we will get to go to a home he has prepared for us. Sure it was nice here on earth, but I believe that home will be better than anything we have ever experienced. Sure it will be hard to say goodbye to those we leave behind, but I look forward to all those I will be reunited with in heaven. Sure it will a hard transition, but it will be the best thing that has ever happened to us.
Graduation day means the work is over. The journey is done. A new chapter is beginning. Today I look forward to graduation day.