Summa Cum Laude

A poem for Bless

Tre L. Loadholt
2 min readMay 4, 2021
On Saturday, May 1, 2021, Bless graduated from college, Summa cum laude, and I had the chance to watch it as it streamed live via YouTube. Images used with my kid sister’s permission.

I wanted to be there in person
but I embraced the fact that
a violent virus is still tagging
along on the backs of culprits
and drifting into the lungs of
thousands of human beings on
a daily basis, so I secured
my place in the comfort of
my home as I watched the
youngest of our tribe
cross over into the “real world.”

What an honor—the tears
that flowed down my face
as her name was called— watching
her stand to wave at the
camera as if to say, “Hello, world!
I’m ready. So, you’d better be,”
transported me back to
every graduation I’ve had
the pleasure to attend.

But this one is different . . .
This one comes with the
glory of knowing a young, black
woman transitioned from teenager
to graduate, obtaining her degree
with the highest distinction”
in Music Education.

What better way to carry on
the legacy of our family
than to do it by gifting others
the beauty of song?

Bless has been far more
than a blessing to us—she’s been
a dream come true for me as
I’ve always envisioned having
a little sister and after gaining
five brothers, she came thundering
through—swiftly carving a place
for herself within our world.

I feel inadequate when
placing words together to
describe her essence—the
all-knowingness of her very
presence cannot be scribed.
It is something that has
to be experienced.

And as she grows, our bond
strengthens and I am no
longer the big sister who is
nearly twenty years older than
her, I am merely, “sis”—a woman
with whom she connects
on a higher scale than
years prior.

I can see seas parting for
her—making a way
for her continued steps
as she introduces herself
to the world beyond
her peripheral view and
I know she is going
to do great things.

I will be here for
each and every
one of them.

Sherry Kappel made the comment, “She was just eighteen!” when I shared Bless’s graduation details with her. And really, she was—time has flown by so quickly. I am beyond proud of my kid sister and I thank her for allowing me to share her with you all once again.

©2021 Tremaine L. Loadholt



Tre L. Loadholt

I am more than breath & bones. I am nectar in waiting. “You write like a jagged, beautiful dream.” ©Martha Manning •