Heartfelt congratulations to the many new graduates, at all levels, and soon-to-be graduates in Texoma. How thrilled you must feel as you celebrate this achievement. No doubt, you have put forth much effort, made sacrifices, and persevered as you have striven to reach this important goal. Enjoy it! You’ve earned it! But, please do so safely and wisely.

This fall, I will join my Sherman High School classmates as we celebrate our 50-year reunion to commemorate the rich occasion that is yours this very month. Hopefully, long after you have enjoyed this seminal moment, you will also be present to celebrate similar reunions, and many more. The friendships one forges become even stronger, the memories fonder, and I can assure you, the time more fleeting than we ever imagine.

As you savor these heady days, please remember the many people who have helped you along the way: parents, teachers, faith leaders, mentors, coaches and so many others. A word of gratitude, a note of thanks, or a thoughtful tweet, text or email can say much to these caring co-collaborators. I’m sure it was their joy and privilege to serve in that role, just as one day, it will similarly by your joy and privilege to help others achieve. And, so it goes.

As a former English teacher, I will hazard a little license by suggesting that there are two important prepositions which are present at every commencement — “from” and “to.” For indeed, graduation is a stunning convergence of where, and from whom, you have come, coupled with the “to” part of your life: where you’re going.

Commencement means “beginning,” and therein lies the magic, the allure and possibly a hint of trepidation. No doubt, you have given your graduation much thought, and as you engage in this new beginning, and in the future that follows, hopefully you will know abundant love, meaningful accomplishment, and the satisfaction of a life well lived. Along the way, please consider carrying with you a strong sense of the “from” and the “to” in your story. May you always appreciate where, and from whom, you have come, while eagerly embracing the future to which you are headed.

Happy birthday Thursday to Robert Austin, Dorothy Bishop, Alicia Evans, Karol Alexander, Margaret Moss and Ven Hammonds, all of Sherman; Shannon Ross of Bonham; Janell Adams and Monica Bagwell, both of Whitesboro; and Trevor Bevels of Blue Creek.

Happy anniversary Thursday to Susann and Earl May of Howe, 32 years.