I told myself I would not believe it until I see ‘Forrest C. Obnamia’ printed in diploma. The day has finally arrived. Forrest is officially an electrical/computer engineer at the graduation ceremony on May 5, 2013, Ohio State University (OSU). The commencement speaker is President Obama.

Time flies. It seems like yesterday when Forrest delivered his valedictory address at Coffman High in May 2009. In senior year Forrest did two research assistant jobs. He successfully defended his thesis papers. He won 3rd place in a contest in engineering category when he presented one of his research projects in March. Forrest was surprised placing third since there were 600+ entries.

Parents worry. We keep ourselves apprised of Forrest’s activities. He tells us, ‘everything is under control’, that drove us nuts. To his credit, Forrest delivers the grades, finishes in 4 years, has no student-loans to pay back, and keeps his nose clean.

College life was fun. In the last semester Forrest took it easy taking racket ball and boxing. Furthermore, he plays in a rock band (to our dismay) and takes guitar lessons to improve his jazz. Camille and I went to one of his gigs at a Pub at midnight. We faithfully attend events in/outside campus that Forrest gets involved to show our support.

Cognizant Technologies, a consulting company, gave Forrest a job. He goes to Teaneck, NJ in September for 30 day’s job orientation, then gets his posting somewhere in the USA. For now, he’s interested in computers, not engineering. Or maybe finance someday. Who knows? It’s not unusual for people to choose careers not related to their degrees.

To celebrate graduation we invited friends to dinner at La Scala, a popular Italian restaurant in town in June in Forrest’s 22nd birthday. Camille and I have no energy hosting big parties at home like we used to do. We selected good entrees, dessert, plenty to eat. We’ll enjoy hosting the party by mingling with guests. The restaurant idea (2 ½ hours) is convenient alternative.

A week after graduation, Forrest goes on a 3-week European tour with 40 new OSU graduates. As empty nesters, Camille and I travel without Forrest. We’ll visit his abode to check if he’s eating right, stock his freezer with food he likes, eat out, and explore the city where he lives. This is a new adventure to all of us.

Forrest has plenty of growing up to do. Joining the work force is the real thing. A diploma will open doors but it does not guarantee success. We are praying that Forrest finds the career path that fits his talents. We did our best by giving Forrest a balance upbringing in mind, body, and spirit. We raised Forrest to be independent man not afraid in trying new things. Forrest has potential and it’s up to him to do the rest. Camille and I are always here for him if and when he needs advice.

But most of all, our family is thanking God, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the bountiful blessings He bestows upon our family. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. All that we have He freely gives.

Nomer & Camille