Congratulations to my Son
I am not on any social media aside from this blog, so I don't know where else to say what I want to say tonight about my son Joseph Mathison.
In the photo above, I'm walking with Joey on a trail behind my parents' house outside of San Antonio, Texas. The photo was taken around Christmas 2002. Joey was about 18 months old at the time. I didn't know that my wife was taking the picture, but I loved it when she showed it to me, and it remains one of my favorites to this day.
What can I say about my son? I have had the blessing of being Joey's father and walking alongside of him since the day he was born almost 21 years ago. From the day he was born, he was the happiest little one you could ever imagine, always smiling from the time he was a baby.
As he got older, he began singing all the time (I think he got this from his Mom). He would sing when he got up in the morning, sing when he went to bed, and sing every moment in between. He was a joy to be around.
When Joey was four years old, his love for music turned a corner. While watching a film, he heard the violins playing and told his Mom that it was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. He told her he wanted to learn how to do that. We signed him up for violin lessons soon afterward, and he began a musical journey that continues to this day.
Tonight my son reached another milestone. He graduated from Stetson University. Not only did he graduate, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from their Honors program, all while taking classes that would have knocked me out had I tried them. He majored in Computer Science and won the award for outstanding graduating senior in that major. His love for his violin teacher, who is from Ukraine, inspired him to study Russian for three years alongside of all the science classes he had to take. And he won an award for his accomplishments in Russian as well. Computer science, Russian, violin . . . he has both sides of the brain going at full speed! Tonight I had the honor of watching him receive his diploma.
To Joey: God blessed your Mom and me with an amazing son, and I thank Him for you every day. You are kind and intelligent, funny and talented. You are a joy to your parents. Congratulations on achieving this goal - college graduation. I saw first hand how hard you worked over these last several years, persevering through numerous challenges - not the least of which was being forced to do half of your college work online because of Covid.
You do not need me to hold your hand any more, but as long as God gives me breath, I will be there for you. And even though you don't need me to hold your hand any more, I pray that you will always remain dependent on and faithful to your Heavenly Father for He loves you infinitely more than I do.