Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lemonade Coming Full Circle

Tonight I'm in my birth state with family. It's a new tradition where each June I travel with the kids to a graduation, or two or three and give presentations on behalf of our family.

I also refer to it as lemonade time.

In 2004 my dad passed away in the midst of several other faith crushing moments. He was only sixty-four, so his loss was huge for all. A simple man by the world's standards, he was happiest tinkering with cars and watching NASCAR.

When he passed, my mom wanted to establish something in his memory that would take our grief and spin it into something good for someone else. After a lot of legwork, we created a scholarship that helps out students furthering their education in the area of auto technology or equipment.

My only job is to present the speech at the tech school graduation at the winner's school. I'm a weird one that enjoys public speaking to large groups and this is a total lemonade experience for me. I've been able to speak a blessing over a group of people who know hardship and kept pressing on anyway. I'm able to affirm someone not just willing to get their hands dirty in service work, but wanting to. I love that.

This year my family was so impressed with the winner they didn't take organized notes on him and suggested I call and interview him. I did, and half way through the interview it hit me if I don't wrap this thing up, I will burst into tears. This kid just had me.


He's a lemondade maker.

I lost my dad as an adult. He lost his dad last year. His dad was his mentor and friend. Together they tinkered with and restored cars. It would be easy to think after this death, the young man would ditch his dreams and everyone would understand.

He told me quitting was never an option for him, to do so would have dishonored his dad.

This student plans on getting his degree so he can return to his rural hometown and work in a shop on cars. He wants to give back and help others.

Tonight I give a speech and hand him a piece of paper.

It's lemonade coming full circle.

Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. Starting summer 2008, Julie will be a monthly columnist on surrender over at

To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at: contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.

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