Here she is right before we went into the auditorium...this is a happy day for us all!
All the medical programs were represented at the ceremony. Here she is in the lineup of the practical nursing graduates, after having their names individually called. They are holding miniature candlestick lamps (with candles), waiting for the candlelighting ceremony and the Nightingale Pledge.
This is an approximation of what was read during the ceremony:
The Nightingale Pledge
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.
Yes, I know the picture quality is atrocious. It's my fault, not my camera's. It's not easy getting a good indoor pic in the dark when you're crying through the whole thing!
At the Indian Restaurant, (her favorite) where we escaped afterward, we had the whole place to ourselves, and stuffed our faces with Curried Lamb, mango and mint chutnies, and Garlic Naan. Rachel opened cards, received more money from relatives than I currently have in my account, and received some bracelets and a new watch from our faraway family friends in North Carolina (thanks, Lisa!!!) And $25 is hers to start microlending through Kiva.org.
We toasted Rachel, each of us who teamed up with her, and especially God who saw her safely through each step of the way with protection and also provision. It was such a fun night!
Rachel: "Ok, well that was an awesome meal! I'm 3/4 stuffed...I saved room for my sweet tooth...what's for dessert? I could go for some ice cream or cake!" (we've been off sweets for a while at the house, except for fruit)
Me, wondering why I hadn't brought a cake: "I didn't bring a cake, Rache...uhoh..."
Rachel: "How about we stop for an ice cream on the way home?" (looking hopefully at J, who was the evening's driver)
J: "Ok, but everything is closed, I think, at this hour" (it was pretty late, and we're not in NYC)
So y'know what happened....we stopped at a convenience store on the way home, picked up a box of donuts, and after about 5 minutes of Rachel's polishing off two or three Krispy Kremes we heard her groan from the backseat, followed by "I'm seriously going to regret this..."
Happy Graduation, Rachel....we love you so much!