One of the Happiest Nights of My Life
And then there's tonight.
Tonight, at a graduation party for Duke law students, I was awarded the Justin Miller Award for Integrity. I had no idea this was coming.
The award winners are nominated by their fellow students and then chosen by the faculty. I had nominated 2 of my friends for the Leadership award - David Jetter (the single most organized person I have EVER met) and Ian Millhiser (who requires neither food nor oxygen because he eats and breathes politics) - and I knew my friend Chris Kocher had nominated me for the Integrity award. So I knew I had a chance. But I thought they would have told me if I had won. After all, there was no guarantee otherwise that I would even attend the event. I know people who didn't. Well, I guess they are risk-takers.
Chris was called up and he gave an eloquent and flattering speech. I only realized he was talking about me when he mentioned the person he was praising is a member of the Duke Law Democrats and the Christian Legal Society. That kinda narrows it down. (Erin, after all, is still a 2L.) When he mentioned air guitar, that clinched it.
Then he said my name and time sort of stood still. Then people started clapping. Then I started going up front to accept the award. Then came the standing ovation. I went up and hugged Chris and Dean Jill Miller and accepted the award (a crystal plaque with my name and a crystal gavel with my initials). No acceptance speech, thank God. I jumped (literally jumped) off the stage, went back to my seat, and applauded the other award winners. (Including, incidentally, Chris - winner of the Justin Miller Award for Citizenship.)
All night people were coming up to me and shaking my hand or hugging me and telling me how much I deserve the award. It's like my every fantasy of acceptance since I was the middle school punching-bag has come true! I have not been this high on Cloud 9 since....well, since Christy said she would marry me.
Caveats: My ego is easily swollen. I can't let this go to my head. It is my firm belief that any goodness in me comes from God, whose love is infinitely greater than mine. Furthermore, I can't expect universal praise for everything I do, nor should I seek it. My passions don't always invite admiration.
But.......................damn, it feels good to be liked.