My son graduated from Newnan High Thursday evening. I think anyone who attended any of the local graduations knows about the unbearable heat we experienced.

We sat on the home side, in direct sunlight, for hours. I wear 30 pounds worth of uniform daily, but that graduation brought a new level of being uncomfortably hot.

Truth be told, I didn’t want to go to the graduation at all. I don’t like crowds and I don’t like pomp and circumstance. High school graduation is brimming with both.

My son showed little desire to go. My wife, who was dreading the event as well, gave me direct instructions to not say anything to him that might help talk him out of showing up to walk. The thought had crossed my mind. I don’t think it would have taken much effort on my part either.

When I was talking to my brother, who was coming, he shared all the same sentiments about not wanting to be there.

My mother, who takes dialysis three days a week every week, was a different story altogether. She would not be denied. We all tried to talk her out of coming. We knew it would be a long, tough walk for her, no matter how close we were able to get her to the stadium. We also knew it would be too hot for her to be sitting in the sun.

We were throwing him a graduation party at the house that Saturday. She could celebrate at the party. She wasn’t having any of it. She would be at the party on Saturday, but she was also going to be at that graduation.

My brother mentioned how that kind of put things in perspective. How the one person who had no business being out there in that heat and mess was not going to miss it, while the rest of us who had no care in the world — other than being mildly uncomfortable for a few hours — were all dreading it.

He was right, as much as it pains me to admit. She showed us all what really mattered that day.

And let me tell you, I was surprised at how quickly the chills hit my arms as soon as I spotted my son walking in the long line on that 150-degree (rough estimate) evening. I was full of pride watching him walk across the stage as the lady said his name on the microphone. I was even lucky enough to know the board member who handed him his diploma.

It was a beautiful night. From the way he was smiling in all the pictures, I think he was pretty happy he had shown up to walk, too.

Thanks Ma, for showing us, once again, what really matters.

Newnan High couldn’t do anything about the heat, or the proximity of the sun to the bleachers, but they did a wonderful job getting those who don’t walk so well as close to the stands as possible.

Side note: Kudos to all the speakers. I was impressed with how each kid made some mention of God or Jesus in their speech.

If parents are doing their job, God will always be in our schools.

Toby Nix is a Newnan writer, guitarist and deputy sheriff. He is the author of two books, “Columns I Wrote” and the newly released “A Book I Wrote.” He can be reached at