I was at my nephew’s graduation. Watching all the 8th graders walk into the hall and listening to that familiar “Pomp and Circumstance Graduation Walking March”, I started to tear up a little. I was surprised by my emotions. For sure I am proud of my nephew, who received a few awards including one that was given to one boy and one girl who were elected by their 8th grade classmates for being the nicest and most helpful throughout the year. But I suspect that my emotions were much more complicated than the pride I had for my 14-year-old nephew. Next to me was this couple, who looked full of joy and pride for their son. One of the segments of the evening was for the graduates to walk to their parents and hand them flowers and a thank you card. Being next to that couple, I could see the large-sized hand-made thank you card that read more like a letter. Their son practically wrote them a love letter. The mom was wiping her tears while taking in all the little words that filled the whole card. Watching her, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of loss. Do I ever get to experience this joy of seeing my own child become a successful young man? The earliest that could happen would be when I am in my mid-50s. That feels really far away from now. I mourn the loss of what could’ve been, where life could’ve taken me on a different path. What if I met Bob earlier? Married earlier? Had no problems conceiving? Then being at my child’s 8th grade graduation would not feel so far-fetched at this moment. A sense of loss, unfairness, envy, jealousy, fear, etc. These are feelings that I would usually have when I see a pregnant lady or a mom with young babies. I never would have expected myself to experience them at a middle school graduation. I was very surprised. I did actually shed a few tears there. It goes to tell you that triggers are everywhere and sometimes happen at unexpected times and in unexpected places.