For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is September 16, 2021


Advice to a graduating daughter

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

It is hard to believe it has been six years since I first gave advice to your brother. Advice to your sister would follow three years later and now it is your turn. Honestly, there were times when I wondered if this day would come. From open-heart surgery at six months to pacemakers at ages 11 and 14, we have been through a lot. I will never forget, after that first surgery, seeing your doctor in the ICU at 3 a.m. in a full tuxedo! He, along with other doctors, had been called in to save your life and it wasn’t until 10 days later, when we were bringing you home, that we would learn how close we had come to losing you.

For the past 18 years, you have fought through these medical conditions with an attitude that still amazes me. You could have easily gotten down and felt sorry for yourself, but you did not. You always kept a positive attitude, endured what came at you and said, “others are worse off, why should I complain?” Had it been me, I am not sure I could have handled everything with the grace and class that you have displayed.

Soon you will graduate high school and be off to college. I know you are excited and ready to be “on your own.” Enjoy these college years. You will look back at them one day and discover they were some of the best times of your life. You will mature into an adult and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

Now I could give you the advice that I gave your brother and sister: read your Bible, go to church, choose friends wisely, be home by 2 a.m., never go to a stranger’s room and other such things. But you already know all of this. I believe younger children mature faster because they watch and learn from their older siblings. So, my advice to you is somewhat different. It has been said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you realize why you were born. Go discover your why!

There have been so many times these past 18 years when God could have taken you from us. From your mother’s womb until today, there have been countless miracles that have happened to keep you here on earth. For that reason, I must believe that God has a special purpose for you. I am not saying that purpose will lead to fame and fortune. God has many ambassadors that work behind the scenes in anonymity. But you must go and discover what that purpose is and why you have been put on this earth.

I find it ironic that your heart, the weakest part of your body, is your biggest asset. I have watched you volunteer and mentor underprivileged children, teach Vacation Bible School, keep the nursery in church and give your time so freely to others that were in need. I have often found it hard to believe that a heart so damaged could be so big and so full of love for others. That is a wonderful trait you possess, and I have admired it for many years.

Lastly, I want to tell you how proud I am of you. Throughout your life, you have conducted yourself in a manner that suggests a maturity far beyond your age. While I am apprehensive about you leaving, I know it has to and needs to happen. You cannot remain my little girl forever. You have too much hope, love and joy to give to a world that badly needs it. But know this, you will always be my baby and I will always love you.

— Dad

Site designed by Marketing Alliance, Inc.