[Shira only six months earlier had written the following which she felt expressed her thoughts as well as could be expressed for this occasion.]
6.17.07 Dear Dad, I think it is really fitting for my graduation to be on the same day as Fathers’ Day. I hope you realize what a huge part of my college meanderings you’ve been. My graduation today is pretty much of a tribute to both you and Mom, but in some ways mostly to you, because I feel so much that I have followed in your footsteps. What I am so thankful for is that you have been there to first provide a model, then to step back and let me fuck up, and then been there again to support me. It’s a delicate dance not many parents know the proper steps to, but both you and Mom have mastered it with unfaltering grace. I cherish your faith in me and your patience while I figure out how to live up to it. As every child is in some way a repackaging of their parents, I hope to do justice to everything you have given, instilled, provided, and taught me. I take on that responsibility to you with a lot of pride and love. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love and respect and admire my parents, and I just really hope this is something you know. A lot of our phone conversations that started with a quick question and ended one and a half hours later left me in tears, and with a greater sense of clarity after feeling like what I’m doing and who I am are okay and maybe even great. You have made me realize that timelines are fluid and fulfillment comes in many forms. So thank you Pop, for putting me through college. I love you.