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Dr. Gina’s Commencement Speech: What are you doing to preserve freedom?

This weekend, I had the honor of giving the commencement address at the university where I received my bachelor’s degree, William Woods University. This is the text of my remarks:

I take great comfort about today knowing two things:

1) If you are looking down at your smartphones the whole time, I can pretend you are so inspired that you are live tweeting, and

2) You won’t remember who spoke at your commencement anyway.

I threw it out there on social media, as I do sometimes for ideas, and one person told me to simply tell my story. Then he reminded me of something I had posted days before. In a nutshell, this is my story. I am calling it “Breakfast,” because essentially, that is where you are today. I will explain.

I have a son with Down syndrome through the miracle of adoption, and he is the belly laugh of our family. …

I have five amazing children. I am the most disgustingly sappy mama you ever knew. But Sam is special, because somehow, through his Down syndrome, he manages to teach us the most. And somehow, though nonverbal, he manages to say the most to me. And somehow, though he doesn’t get to do a lot of things we might think are important in life, his life is the fullest. And he seems to know that best of all.

I am not a perfect mom. I am one of those moms who burns it at both ends, and when someone tells me to slow down, I yell for them to bring me more wax. Dr. Hertzog (my own favorite professor who was sitting in the audience) says it’s my caloric personality. I say it’s the way God made me.

Anyway, one morning, in my haste, I forgot to make Samuel breakfast and didn’t even notice he was awake before all the other children. He made himself a bowl of grits with honey. We live right on the sand of the Pacific Ocean, and I found him eating on the front balcony in the sunshine, smiling, with his kitty beside him to keep him company.

I had no idea he could make breakfast all by himself! (CLICK TO CONTINUE READING AT WND.COM)



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